Like it or not, they are real and they want to kill you.

They make the evening news from being more and more gruesome and appalling than the week before.

Some say they must do this to get attention, even if it goes against what they believe in.

They are, of course, the Islamic State. America is reluctantly at "war" with them, no matter how little we understand.

The author also claims ignorance about what they are about.

It might be a medieval group, as some say. Others say they have to be harsh to get people's attention.

What confuses the author is how the same religious text can be interpreted so radically different.

A blog seems like a good place to discuss it, as comments are welcome.

In Christianity, for example, the emphasis changes when the Messiah comes. "An eye for an eye" is supplanted with the New Covenant "Love thy neighbor." The ideas appear contradictory on the surface, but they are explained and it becomes clear why.

But, in Islam the ideas are interpreted as polar opposites, and it is not as clear why. Their Messiah has not come yet, but that does not seem to answer the dilemma.

Granted it was an oral society, so the passages had to be memorized as they were revealed (over a 23 year period). Some say they were transcribed incorrectly.

But, apparently, even questioning the accuracy of the Qur'an is taboo in some parts of the world.

Islamic State sounds like it should pertain to Islam.

(In America there is freedom of expression).

As the author said before, the opinion of this blog is Scripture - such as the Bible or the Qur'an - looks conflicting on the surface. This is so those who want to know more will ask questions.

Here is an example of the Islamic State. The January attacks in Paris, France on a cartoonist of the Prophet Muhammad were somehow justified by this one statement,

"If you insult the Prophet, kill them."

That one sentence - and one sentence only - justified murder, in their opinion.

It is not clear if it came from tradition (Hadith) or someplace else - it does not appear to be in the Qur'an.

How did they get to murdering in France, one would ask?

One would naturally look to their Scripture to see what it had to say, as a logical place to start.

So, what does their Holy Book, the Qur'an, say about responding to insults? Here are some examples:

1. "Bear patiently what they say." - Qur'an 20:30, 50:39

2. "You will certainly hear much abuse from the followers of previous books and from the idol-worshipping people. And, if you are patient, and keep your duty -- this is surely a matter of great resolution." -Qur'an 3:185

3. "Hold fast to forgiveness and enjoin goodness and turn away from the ignorant. Be tolerant, command what is right, pay no attention to foolish people." - Qur'an 7:198-199

These are just a few verses (there are more), but the question is:

How do you get to murdering people from verses like that?

Are quotes like these disregarded altogether before acting? (And, if they are disregarded, should the rest of the Qur'an be disregarded?)

The Qur'an is regarded by Muslims as inerrant and something that can not be altered, regardless of how much times change.

There are people who claim Muhammad preached violence and combat.

There are partial explanations for how to interpret those kinds of verses. For example, one should take into account the Arabic words used and context of the verses around them and the situation.

For example, Muslim scholars assert that when the Qur'an says "kill", it can be likened to the word "curse" (Semantics, translation?)

("If you insult the Prophet, kill them" could be translated to curse him, not murder him).

They also point out when the Qur'an says to "fight unbelievers" it can be an intellectual or spiritual fight - not just a physical one.

More can be found in this post.

Do you just disregard everything the Qur'an states and go by one statement? It is puzzling.

Or how about from the Prophet Muhammad himself, the one they murdered in the name of? What did he have to say about insults that are not recorded in the Qur'an?

"The Muslim who mixes with the people, and bears patiently their hurtful words, is better than the one who does not mix with people and does not show patience under their abuse."- (Mishkat, Book: Ethics, ch. 'Gentleness, modesty and good behaviour')

If Scripture and quotes by Muhammad are thrown aside, then what do you go by? Not only does the Qur'an preach patience, but Muhammad preaches patience elsewhere in a way that is clear. In fact, they both read "bear patiently."

Their Messiah (Mahdi) has not come to earth, but it is still confusing how the same verses are interpreted with violence in mind.

One time a man was accused of being unfair to a person's face - an insult. The teaching, in the Bukhari, says the man - Khalid - asks Muhammad if he should strike off the neck of the person for being unfair (an insult). Muhammad's response was:

"No, perhaps he is a man that says prayers."

(In other words, look for the good in the person before rushing to judgement).

Do you know what Muhammad said after that?;

"I have not been commanded by God to cut open people's chests to see what is in their hearts." (Book: Maghazi, ch. 63.)


Even outside of the Qur'an there is a clear teaching of tolerance, and not a rush to judgment that only God can make.

The point is the Prophet Muhammad again and again talks of patience, and not of murdering people.

Let us say the quote above (If you insult the Prophet, kill them) came from their Hadith, or source of tradition outside the Qur'an. if that is the case, then it is not clear how you can reconcile the Qur'an and the tradition to say it came from the same source.

Muslims further assert the Qur'an is free from error and cannot change, regardless of the times. Any questioning of this assertion can result in apostasy, or death. (Just ask the Shi'ite Muslims).

Then the Islamic State beheads 21 people in Libya for the "crime" of being Christians. Again, this is perplexing.

For one thing, Muslim scholars assert,

"It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.

Statements like this should be common knowledge to a practicing Muslim.

Once again, does the Islamic State just disregard their own doctrine altogether? Why don't they follow their own doctrine and rely on Allah?

Qur'an 2:62 states,

"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."

Actually, a key component of Muhammad's Medinah existence in Arabia was the respect of other religions.

And, at one time in his life, Muhammad fled to where there was a Christian King, in what is now Ethiopia (Abyssinia). He also selected non-Muslims as Ambassadors.

Even the Islamic Ottoman Empire was known for its' tolerance to other religions, like Islam believes.

Does that sound like a religion that proclaims to kill Christians?

And - amazingly - to be Muslim one must accept not only the Jewish Prophets, but the Gospels (Injil). The same Archangel Gabriel that announced to Mary she would give birth to the Son Of God in the Gospels is the same Gabriel that gave revelations to Muhammad.


It is also the same Gospels that portray Jesus as the Son Of God, as opposed to just a Prophet.

Qur'an 49:13 reads,

"God's objective in creating the human race with different communities, religions, ethnicity, etc. was that they should relate to each other peacefully amid this diversity."

What else was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad?

Quran 46:9 reads,

"I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. God is the ONLY one who can judge humans."

(If God is the only one who can judge humans and Muhammad preached patience, then how do you get to murdering from that?)

The scenario about Muhammad in France came from satire (exaggeration). Do they realize it is possible to satirically speak of someone and still respect them?

(Does that bring Qur'an verses to mind?; "Turn away from the ignorant. Be tolerant, pay no attention to foolish people." - Qur'an 7:198-199)

Heck, according to the Holy Qur'an itself, a person has the right to not believe in Islam (you can look it up). Here are some verses,

Qur'an 2:256 states,

"There shall be no compulsion (in acceptance) of the religion"

Compulsion means to force to do something. Hence, it is not legitimate to force Shari'ah law on anyone.

Qur'an 109:6 states, "For you is your religion, for me is my religion."

Qur’an 18:29 states – “The truth is from your Lord”: it is the free will of any person to believe (in God) or to be an Infidel (Un believer)"

Again, these are from the Holy Book that is "perfect" and cannot be altered or questioned, according to many Muslims themselves.

Some have said these verses don't necessarily mean these things. However, as stated in a previous post, it is important to try to take verses collectively and in context.

The theme of the right to be non-Muslim is not just found in one place. The punishments are harsh, but they are in the next life.

However, according to Islam itself, a person has the right to choose to be a non-Muslim. The punishment for not accepting Islam is in the hereafter, and not in this world.

Things like terrorism are forbidden.

It is important to realize legitimate doctrine does not come from a terrorist state.

Author Commentary

Hence, the 21 who were beheaded don't have to believe in Islam, according to Islam's accepted Scripture.

So, as comments are welcome, many in America are more and more confused what the "Islamic State" stands for.

If the Qur'an is to be disregarded altogether to go and murder, then what do you stand for? And, if you disregard altogether what is "perfect" (the Qur'an), then the rest of your logic is in question.

If you believed in Allah, wouldn't you read what he says - "bear patiently" - and rely on him for the results?

It is the same Muhammad in the verses and quotes above as it is the Muhammad they murdered people to "defend."

If the Islamic State is, indeed, about Islam it should take the Qur'an into account, including verses like the ones in this post.

In America Islam is often associated with terrorism. (This might be wrong, as the media is largely responsible). This post asserts that view is a radical, strict interpretation - it is not the norm of Islam.

Americans associate Islam with things like suicide bombings, when suicide and terrorism are forbidden in Islam.

Kill can be likened to curse, fight can be intellectual or spiritual and jihad is primarily an inward battle.

Islamic scholar Yusuf Estes asserts Jihad can not be fought for revenge, especially against civilians, even if they are civilians of a nation that attacked them. Going after civilians is fighting Islam itself.

America, who allows Muslims to come and use their talents alongside them, should educate their citizens on what Islam is about - and it is not about terrorism.

Islamic teaching specifically forbids suicide, forbids honor killing, forbids any worldly punishment for apostasy or blasphemy, and forbids terrorism.

In fact, the Prophet and his successors, whenever they sent out an army, gave soldiers clear instructions not to attack civilians, nor to destroy the enemy's property, crops or animals. (Qur'an 2:194)

In one instance after a battle, the Prophet Mohammad saw a woman that had been killed. He was angry and asked: "By what right was she killed, even though she was not part of the battle?"

Without education Westerners look at a Muslim and associate it with a terrorist. This is wrong. Just like it would be wrong to label all white males "terrorists" because they look like the Boston bombers (who were Caucasian).

Some Americans wonder if Islamic terrorism is political because of their own internal failed states. For example, if you don't allow women to educate themselves, work, drive, or fight in the military then you will likely fall behind other nations that do.

Other Americans wonder how to interpret Islam. How can one person proclaim terrorism is forbidden, while another claims it is their religious duty to murder innocent civilians because they believe something different? (From the same texts)

For instance, contrary to the Qur'an and Hadith verses of patience, Muhammad has also been alleged to have ordered physical hardships and execution at times. Are these verses applicable only to the past, or can they really be translated so differently than the "be patient" verses above?

Many say they apply only to the Battle of Badr in 624, against the polytheists of the time on the Arabian peninsula.

To support beheadings, the group cites the Quran as calling on Muslims to "strike the necks" of their enemies. But other clerics counter the verse means Muslim fighters should swiftly kill enemies in the heat of battle, and is not a call to execute captives.

Moreover, the Islamic State ignores the next part of the verse, which says Muslims should set prisoners of war free as an act of charity.

Other "violent" verses put quantifiers on defending yourself in Islam in fighting; "Allah does not like transgressors" (2:190), "But know that God is with those who restrain themselves.” (9: 36) (Beheading?)

Immediately after the Qur'an verse most cited as justification for violence is this verse:

'If any of the unbelievers asks you for sanctuary, then take them into your houses so that they might hear the word of God and then let them go on their way,'" (Qur'an 9:6)

Islam means submitting to the Will of God. That means following verses like these, not just picking verses here and there that you agree with.

The Islamic extremists are known for leaving out parts of verses - and disregarding them - of the Qur'an, when that is the Book they are proclaiming that is free from error.

(Prophets of God are not proclaimed to be free of mistakes. The Hebrew Prophets of Christianity, Islam and Judaism were sinners).

If the contradictions in interpretation are accurate, then things might be situational (as proposed here) or - as others say - some revelations might have been inaccurately received by Muhammad. Or, is it as simple to say extremists only follow part of the Qur'an?

Also - did you know the Qur'an nowhere prescribes the punishment of lashes, or death, or any other physical punishment for insulting a Prophet?

(Additionally, Muslim scholars who oppose convert executions argue that no statement is binding if it's contained in only one Hadith collection, or if the Prophet was addressing a certain historical situation that doesn't pertain today).

(Christians have had their weak moments also, like during the Crusades. Christians are not perfect, either.)

As we know, it like the president said recently. America is not at war with Islam. America is at war with terrorists who pervert Islam.

Please, enlighten the public.

Please note: There is not a picture in this post out of respect for the Muslim opinion of not having images.

Please also note: The author thinks Islam, as it is intended, is a respectable religion in which many things can be learned from.

Hopefully this post helped you think about your life and a bigger picture than daily life.

If you found it helpful please subscribe to the blog or make any comments.

Related reading:

Muslim Scholars Letter To The Islamic State

Islam For Peace

Islam Teaching For Verbal Abuse

Ways Islamic Law Forbids Terrorism

ISIS is un-Islamic

Qur'an Misquotes

How Muhammad Dealt With Insults

Author's Bio: 

Spiritual Growth author motivated from a spiritual awakening.

Active member at an Eastern Orthodox House Of Hospitality, Cleveland, Ohio, working with seminarians and learning.

Blogs have been published at Ezine Articles and at and the website is listed on the Technorati directory. Also authored the standard procedures for an Orthodox Monastery.

Please visit my website about finding more meaning in life at and add any comments.

As Wayne Dyer said."When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."