This article is my response. This is a message to Muslims who want to convince non-Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace.
My main message is: Please stop. We are trying to defeat the Jihadis here, and when you tell non-Muslims that message, you aren't helping the cause. You're actually hindering it. I'll explain how in a minute.
If you peaceful Muslims are trying to defend your religious beliefs, I think most people would understand and sympathize with your motives. But by doing it here, what have you accomplished? Have you helped our cause (thwarting Islam's relentless encroachment)? No. All you've done is try to convince us Islam is great.
You need to understand the effect of your defense on the non-Muslim mind. If you want to end Islamic terrorism, and if you understood what effect you had, you would stop defending your faith to infidels.
Because even if we all believed you, so what? Even if you successfully convinced us Islam is really a religion of peace, what difference would it make? Does it help us defeat Jihadis? No, not at all. We have terrorists quoting the Koran (urging Muslims to kill infidels) and we have other Muslims saying the Koran is only about peace. Where does that leave us? You've replaced clarity with confusion. You've replaced resolve with hesitation. And to that degree, you've given Jihadis the upper hand.
This is a deadly serious business, and this seemingly insignificant issue is the crucial pivoting point. Knowing how and why your enemy wants to destroy you is an enormous advantage in a global war in which many hundreds of thousands have already lost their lives.
Peaceful Muslims, I ask you to hear this: You make non-Muslims less able to defend themselves by going on these websites and justifying your religion to them.
Part of what makes the issue confusing for westerners is that we don't know if you're sincere or if you're trying to deceive us. Many terrorists exclaim vehemently that Islam is a religion of peace. But when they say it, they are trying to trick non-Muslims and confuse us while they continue their jihad against us (or what they mean is: as soon as Islam conquers all countries, the world will be at peace, so therefore, Islam is a religion of peace).
But my feeling is that most of the Muslims who have written to me are actually sincere, peace-loving, non-terrorist Muslims who have no interest in blowing up infidels. My friend is one of those. He is perfectly sincere.
If you are one of those sincerely peaceful Muslims, I know you have explained away the violent parts of the Koran terrorists often quote. And good for you. I'm glad you have. You had a teacher who convinced you jihad is really an inner struggle. And that's great. The teacher provided you with the complex mental maneuvers you need to see the Koran as a peaceful document. Thank you for ignoring the violent parts of Islamic teachings, and I hope you always will.
But you are doing harm and causing confusion by telling infidels you know the "true teachings" of Islam. The Jihadis aren't listening to unorthodox teachers. Jihadis are fundamentalists. They are strongly against any moderation or editing or modernizing of Islamic texts.
It doesn't really matter that you have somehow explained away Allah's commands to kill all the infidels — the Jihadis have not explained it away! They make the more direct assumption that if Allah said it, He must have meant it.
You think the Jihadis who quote the Koran are wrong. And you believe the fundamentalists running Iran, Syria, Pakistan, the Sudan, and Saudi Arabia don't really know what Islam is all about. Okay, fine. Does that help us defeat terrorism now that we know that? Not one little bit.
But when infidels get a good idea of what is actually in the Koran, and when they learn about the Islamic principles of deceit and pretext, and when we find out the goal and purpose of the Islamic faith, and when we learn about the methods Jihadis use to infiltrate and destroy, then we infidels are better able to protect ourselves. It's like finding out the plans of an enemy during war. It helps tremendously to anticipate what they're going to do and to understand their motives. This knowledge improves our ability to defend ourselves against it.
But when a seemingly sincere Muslim comes along and says no, that's not the "true" Islam and you've got it all wrong, many infidels will be confused and not know what to believe, so they will take no action. A confused mind is hesitant to act. They will not know the best way to proceed, and they'll be like a deer in headlights, frozen and paralyzed with uncertainty.
The reason non-Muslims are so easily confused is that most of us don't realize the difference between the Koran and every other religious book we are familiar with. The Christian Bible is a collection of writings from various authors, written sometimes hundreds of years apart, with parables, laws, advice, history, and dreams, all collected together into one book. Those of us in the West who are not Christians are still familiar enough with these religions to know this much, and to assume the same is true of the Koran.
But as you are fully aware, the Koran is one book, written by one man in his own lifetime. It can be (and often is) taken quite literally, and is obviously meant to be taken literally (I've read the Koran myself cover-to-cover). It isn't full of symbolism or vague analogies. It is mostly direct commands.
The Koran contains contradictory statements like other religious books, but the Koran itself provides the reader with a way to know what to do with contradictions. In the Koran, it says if you have two passages that contradict each other, the one written later supersedes the one written earlier. A passage written later abrogates (makes null and void) passages written earlier that contradict it. It says so right there in the Koran.
Most westerners don't know this. And they are unaware that the peaceful, tolerant passages were written early in Mohammad's prophetic career. According to the Koran, those passages have been overwritten by later, more violent, less tolerant passages.
So when most westerners hear Jihadis quoting violent passages from the Koran, and then peaceful Muslims quoting peaceful passages, they interpret that the way they would if someone was quoting the Christian Bible. They think to themselves, "Oh, there must be many different and contradictory passages, like there are in other religious books, so Muslims can pick and choose what they like, and justify whatever actions they want to take."
Of course, you Muslims know the Koran is nothing like that. There is no picking and choosing. The Koran itself says very explicitly and in no uncertain terms that a Muslim must not alter or ignore any part of its very clear and direct message or they will burn in a fiery torment forever.
If you don't like me saying all this, I am truly sorry, but we non-Muslims need to know what's really happening. This is too serious to be overly concerned with tiptoeing around anyone's feelings.
I'm trying to tell my fellow westerners what Islamic terrorists are up to. They are following the Koran to the letter, as it says in the Koran a faithful Muslim must do. And their overarching goal is to make an Islamic state out of every country in the world. And the Koran tells them in no uncertain terms that they are justified in using violence, deceit, and pretext to accomplish their holy duty. My fellow westerners need to know this or they are fish in a barrel — vulnerable and defenseless.
In the Koran, Allah makes it clear that man-made governments (such as a democracy) and free speech (such as criticizing the Koran) are abominations and must be eliminated.
Right now, Muslims are immigrating into our western democracies holding and cherishing these values and goals, and most of my fellow westerners are completely naive about it. One of the reasons they are so naive is that peaceful Muslims keep trying to defend their interpretation of the Koran as the "real" interpretation.
Think about this. Who is better able to defend themselves from a determined and deadly enemy?
1. A person who believes the enemy is peaceful? or...
2. A person who knows the plans, intentions, and motivations of the enemy, and knows his tactics?
Obviously, number two will be more capable of protecting themselves. And all the plans, motivations, intentions (and many of the tactics) of today's Jihadis can be found in the Koran.
Our situation puts both infidels and peaceful Muslims in a difficult position. It's not your fault, and it's not our fault. We've been put in this position by those who wage violent jihad against the West.
Partly because of your messages, and partly because my fellow westerners aren't taking the time to read the Koran for themselves, they are confused by all these seemingly contradictory messages. Is Islam a religion of peace or isn't it? What's the real story? Is this all propaganda? Is it prejudice and hatred? Is this bigotry? Islamophobia? And westerners will default to assuming Islam must be a religion of peace, because they believe all religions are really peaceful.
What should you peaceful Muslims do when you want to argue against a non-Muslim? What can you do when you want to defend your peaceful version of Islam?
The first thing you can do is make it clear to us infidels that you are a believer in a new, modified form of Islam. You can tell us yes, there are many passages in the Koran that encourage violence against infidels but you think these passages should be ignored by modern Muslims. That would really help clarify things for non-Muslims. Be out front about it.
You can also openly criticize Jihadis for not moderating or modernizing the teachings of Mohammad. This would help all the non-Muslims understand what is happening and who we should consider enemies and friends. It would help non-Muslims understand the "civil war" going on within Islam itself.
You should quote the violent passages and say you think all Muslims should ignore those passages.
I know it takes courage to openly criticize either the Jihadis or the Koran. You're putting your own life at risk, no matter where you live (because the penalty for criticizing the religion of peace is death). It is much easier to defend your beliefs by justifying your religion to infidels. But that doesn't solve the problem. It makes things worse.
If you are committed to defeating Islamic terrorism while at the same time justifying your version of Islam, you can expend your energy convincing young Muslim men to follow your way rather than the Jihadis' way. Right now, Jihadis are successfully persuading young men to follow the strict Islamic (violent) path. What can you do to recruit young men to your path? That has a chance of actually solving the problem.
I said earlier it doesn't really matter that you have explained away the violent passages of the Koran (because terrorists haven't) but that's not entirely true. In a way, it does matter, and it is wonderful that you have modified the Koran's teachings to be more peaceful.
But to end the cycle, you'll have to go one step further and declare outright that the Koran is not the word of Allah. If you've modified or ignored any part of the Koran, you're acting as if it is not the perfect word of Allah. So admit it openly.
If you secretly admit the Koran is not perfect, but keep saying it is perfect, you open the way for the next generation of Muslims to rebel against your "modified" teachings by becoming fundamentalists. They will see you as a hypocrite who says "the Koran is perfect," but who ignores half of the teachings.
Please think about this. You must try to understand that as a westerner, when we look at the problem of Islamic terrorism, it looks like a large number of militant factions, all with different names and goals and grievances, and there is no clear idea of what is going on or what to do about it, or even how to approach the problem.
But each of the different Islamic factions are all using the same book. They are basing their goals on what is in that book. They are using the methods described in the book. What they are willing to do and how they will do it is all based on what is in that book.
Infidels can look in the book and discover what they're up to, what their motives are, and what specific tactics they'll use. Those of us trying to defeat or at least reduce terrorist incidents are trying to alert our fellow non-Muslims about the situation. And if everyone knew about it — if all the non-Muslims simply read the Koran cover-to-cover — they would suddenly understand the situation in a whole new way, and Islamic terrorism would be in serious danger of extinction from that point on.
But your message to non-Muslims basically tells us: The answer is not in the Koran. Look anywhere else for answers. Just don't look in the Koran.
And what has happened? Non-Muslims don't know what to do or where to look for answers. And to that degree, you, the peaceful Muslims, have helped the Jihadis do their job, even if you didn't mean to. You've helped perpetuate violence in the world. Jihadis will keep immigrating into western democracies with their murderous plans while the non-Muslims are unaware of what's happening — blinded and confused by their own multiculturalism combined with your constant assurances that Islam really is a religion of peace.
The Jihadis will keep expressing their different grievances (as pretexts for war) and the hand-wringing, kind-hearted westerners will keep trying to make concessions, never suspecting they are being duped with a vengeance. And the violence and political invasion will go on and on.
We've got to stop it, and you peaceful Muslims are one of the keys to our success. That's the end of my message to peaceful Muslims.
I have a message for you non-Muslims, as well. You should do your best to read the Koran yourself. This would really help you clarify the situation.
And finally, I have a message to those deceitful Jihadis who try to convince us Islam is a religion of peace. When enough people know about your plans and methods, your deceit will no longer work. Scams and cons lose their effectiveness once they are well-known. Your days are numbered. We will reveal your plans. We will choke off your sources of money. We will help give Koran-modifying Muslims a voice. And you will have to stop blowing things up and get a real job.