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Shi'a Pundit

Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.

May 2, 2004

a useful resource indeed.

Attempting to "reveal" the warlike nature of Islam, an LGFer has posted a list of 111 ayats from the Qur'an that he interprets as uniformly justifying and making compulsory the murder of non-muslims. To be honest, it's a useful list, because anyone actually familiar with the Qur'an and who makes modest effort to read the ayats surrounding the excerpted ones will understand exactly how hollow their case is. As Charles has noted, context is the key to understanding; this list of ayats is the signpost which honest seekers of Truth will follow in that spirit. Those who have an a-priori vision of Islam, and jihad, will of course not need such a list to justify their belief.

For example, consider this story (via LGF) about the Islamist governor of Zanfara state in Nigeria who has ordered all churches therein to be demolished. According to the story, the governor has invoked the Qur'an, claiming that there is an injunction to fight the unbelievers wherever they are found. Looking at the handy ayat list, it seems that this nutbar is referring to Ayat 2.191. However, looking at the surrounding ayats for full context:

2.190 And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
2.191 And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.
2:193 And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

These are Jacksonian ideals, indeed. The governor of Zamfara state is mis-using the Qur'an, and guilty of the same selective readings with which to further his agenda as some commentators at LGF with an anti-muslim agenda. Theirs will be a shared recompense.

Disclaimer - translations of the Qur'an are inherently flawed. But if that is the field upon which we must engage, so be it.

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About Shi'a Pundit

Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).

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