"Not All Muslims Are Terrorists"


This is another in our series, Answers to Objections. When you talk about Islam, people often respond as if you've made some sort of mistake, as if you are equating a few crazy terrorists with all 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, when "everybody knows" most of them are peace-loving people.

This is an easy objection to answer, but it is also an opportunity to give your listener a deeper education on the subject. Here are a few ideas of how to answer this objection:

1. Terrorism is only one of many ways to wage jihad. There are at least ten types of jihad (I recommend you memorize this list). In Islamic teachings, there are five pillars of Islam, five things every Muslim should do. But according to Mohammad, jihad is more important than any of them. It is a religious duty for each Muslim to struggle for the establishment of Sharia law everywhere in the world. Some do it with bombs. Some do it with immigration and fecundity. Some do it with relentless political actions (waging jihad by gaining concessions). Some do it with "mainstream, moderate" Muslim organizations that try to undermine Western governments. So in other words, I agree with you completely that not all Muslims are terrorists, but I disagree with you that this somehow implies the problem of Islam is something we can safely ignore. We need to know about it or we will have no ability to protect ourselves from it.

2. That's true: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims, and they kill in the name of Islam. Do you know why? Do you know what they're after? (When they say something like, "Yes, they want the West to stop interfering with Islamic affairs," you can answer with a lesson on Islam 101.) Since the beginning, Muslims have waged a war of expansion, and they have tried to justify their violence as a response to a grievance (read more about that here). That's the way Mohammad did it, and he's the example all Muslims forever after are supposed to follow. They want only one thing: For everybody on earth to submit to Islamic law. Fighting toward this goal is a religious duty for Muslims. And terrorism is only one of many ways to wage jihad.

3. That's true, but most Muslims believe Mohammad is a good example to follow. They believe this because it says 91 times in the Qur'an that every Muslim must follow Mohammad's example. Do you know anything about Mohammad? Knowing about Mohammad explains a lot of what otherwise is incomprehensible about what is going on in the world. (Here you can tell the story of Mohammad's rise to power and the change in the Qur'anic revelations. Talk them into reading the Qur'an. Recommend a readable version like this one: An Abridged Koran.)

4. The Muslims who are terrorists are able to do what they do because of a tremendous amount of support from their community, and that support is motivated by Islamic teachings. It is also motivated by the hope that the supporters will gain entry to Paradise. The martyr can plea to Allah (once he arrives in Paradise) on behalf of up to seventy of his relatives to get them a ticket to Paradise. For those who believe this, it is a tremendous incentive to help any of their relatives who plan on killing non-Muslims. In other words, that "small percentage" of Muslims who are active terrorists are only the tip of the iceberg of a tremendous amount of popular support for the killing of non-Muslims (and other forms of jihad). Remember the jubilation in the Muslim world when thousands of non-Muslims were killed on 9/11? Only 19 hijackers did it, but clearly millions supported it. Millions. Maybe hundreds of millions. Why? Because that's the kind of thing Muslims are supposed to do according to the Qur'an and the "perfect" example of Mohammad (read more about that here).

Make your answer to the objection as cleanly and as calmly as you can. Try to be almost casual about it. Never be intense if you can help it. Understate rather than overstate your case. Speak accurately. Never exaggerate.

We must successfully persuade people. We cannot afford to fail. Make your conversations count.


Carlos Echevarria 10:47 AM  

Thank you for posting this, truly oustanding and informative.

You are right, in this twilight struggle we cannot fail, because failure condemns us to tyranny, barbarism and darkness.

Unknown 5:41 AM  

Good job! I've found discussing Islam frustrating sometimes because I've assumed that the people I'm talking to, who aren't shy about giving their opinions about Islam, actually know something about it. They often don't know all that much, though.

They just think they do. Sometimes it is necessary, and absolutely the best thing to do, to go back to basics and lay out the history of Islam.

The relentless efforts at expansion, the practive of slavery which went on in Islamic countries, the torture that went along with it; the battles fought throughout history to repel Islamic armed forces: people often don't know about any of this.

The Frozen North

British Babe 4:32 AM  

I am a massive fan of your site but I have to take issue with the fact that you are linking to a blog in support of the BNP, the British National Party.

Are you aware that BNP policy is, and indeed has always been, to 'repatriate' ALL British Jews, Blacks, and Asians?

I'm a British Jew. If the BNP ever got into power, I would be FORCED to leave the country where I was born.

Is this something you condone?

Current BNP head Nick Griffin has publicly made statements praising the Nazis and maligning Blacks and Jews and Gays - again I have to ask, do you condone this?

The site you are linking to is this one: http://isupporttheresistance.blogspot.com/2008/06/jihad-multi-headed-monster-devouring.html; Home Of The Green Arrow.

I have been linking to your site in two online forums but I cannot in all conscience continue to support any website that supports and recommends the racist BNP.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Citizen Warrior 9:32 PM  

Jew With a View: No, I do not condone booting Jews out of anywhere. No, I do not condone maligning Jews, Blacks, or Gays.

I was not aware I was supporting the BNP, or that the organization is racist. I use that link you mentioned because it goes to an excellent list of fifteen different types of jihad. I will go look at that page carefully, and if it is racist, I will remove the link from my site. Thank you for alerting me.

Citizen Warrior 9:48 PM  

Okay, Jew With a View, I have read that page and I see nothing that criticizes Jews, Blacks, or Gays. Maybe you don't like the site because the blogger is a fan of the BNP? So by my using their page I am implying I condone the BNP and that means, if the BNP is racist, that I condone racism?

So I officially declare here and now, if anyone has gotten that impression, please understand I do NOT condone racism. In fact, I am adamantly AGAINST racism. Please refer to my previous articles on the subject:

Early Prevention of Bigotry and Racism

Critique of Pure Islam

Is It Racist to Criticize Islam?

"What You're Saying Is Racist"

How To Get Past Someone's Multiculturalist Defenses

British Babe 9:30 AM  

I appreciate your response.

That said, by linking to a blog that supports the BNP, I do think you are tacitly condoning that political group.

Your website is brilliant and to reiterate; I am a big fan and recommend it frequently. Indeed, it is precisely *because* I know people take your site seriously that I am concerned at you linking to ANYTHING that recommends the BNP.

British Babe 10:05 AM  

Just to continue my response to your statement: the blog that you link to states, right at the top of the page: 'The purpose of this site is to support the British National Party'.

So I'm afraid that yes, you ARE linking to a site that openly and blatantly recommends the BNP, a racist, neo Nazi group.

Of course, it is entirely at your discretion which links you place on your own excellent website. But as a Brit myself, I would just like to illustrate for you what the BNP says, so at least you have all the facts.

Here are some statements by BNP founder members and current leaders:

Became NF (National Front, neo Nazi group) vice-chairman. Joined BNP in 1995

Received nine-month suspended prison sentence at Harrow Crown Court in May 1998 for inciting racial hatred in his magazine, The Rune. Elected leader of BNP in 1999

ON RACE: “Without the White race, nothing matters.We affirm that non-Whites have no place here at all and will not rest until every last one has left our land”

ON THE HOLOCAUST: “The ‘extermination’ tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and latter witch-hysteria”

ON POWER: “When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate."

Former chairman of the Young BNP, now the party’s director of publicity.

ON WHETHER BRITISH-BORN BLACKS ARE BRITISH “Just because a dog is brought up in a stable doesn’t make him a horse.”

ON AIDS A “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it.”

ON JEWS “There’s not a European country the Jews haven’t been thrown out of. When it happens that many times, it’s not just persecution. There’s no smoke without fire.”

ON ADOLF HITLER “Hitler will live forever; and maybe I will.”

When you link to a blog that openly states it supports the above racism, then by association YOU are supporting it.

I apologise if it sounds as though I'm trying to tell you what to do - if I didn't hold your site in such high regard, I wouldn't bother contacting you about this!

I look forward to your response.

Citizen Warrior 7:11 PM  

Jew With a View, you convinced me enough to change the link. I don't have time now to look into the BNP, but in the meantime, I created a different list to link to.

Those of you who are reading this and wondering what the heck we're talking about, on item number one in the article above, I recommend you memorize a list of ten different types of jihad. Prior to this comment conversation, it went to a different list, and that list was on a blog that was clearly in support of the BNP. I don't know much about that organization, so until I do, I have removed the link.

JWV, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I have done the same thing before with other writers (told them I want to link to them but not unless something is changed on the article, like the punctuation or spelling because I want to link to an article that won't immediately lose credibility with someone who is looking for a reason to disregard it).

So in other words, I completely understand what you're doing and why, and I'm glad you spoke up.

British Babe 5:21 AM  

Much appreciated, Citizen Warrior :)

I'm going to be blogging about the BNP in the next day or two so I'll post a link here, if I may, in case you want to read a little bit about the group and also, how the BNP is preventing legitimate criticism of Islam being voiced in the UK.

Again, many thanks for taking my comments on board :)

Citizen Warrior 12:17 PM  

Yes, please post a link here, Irritable Brit. You must be the same person as Jew With a View.

British Babe 12:20 PM  

LOL LOL yep, Irritable Brit is my blog name, I forgot I was logged into that when I posted. I guess I'm an irritable Brit and also a Jew with a view :)

I'll post a link when I've written about the BNP, many thanks :)

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

"In Islamic teachings, there are five pillars of Islam, five things every Muslim should do. But according to Mohammad, jihad is more important than any of them."

This is absolutely wrong, and you know it. The five pillars of Islam are Faith, Prayer, Fasting, Charity, and Pilgrimage. The most important one, that is, the one central to all the rest, is FAITH (believing in one God). Where in the world did you get the idea that jihad is the most important pillar when it's not even a pillar to begin with???

Citizen Warrior 12:22 PM  

"Jihad is not radical. Jihad is mainstream down-the-middle Islamic doctrine. Jihad is the Sixth Pillar of Islam. It is a Pillar because it is incumbent upon ALL Muslims and it is eternal and universal."

- Bill Warner (source)

Citizen Warrior 12:29 PM  

"The Koran lays out the vision of jihad. The Sira (Mohammed's biography) lays out the grand strategy of jihad. The hadith (the Traditions) give us the tactics — all the small details about what needs to be done. And of course all of these things are modeled upon Mohammed, because Mohammed is not only the perfect Muslim, but also the perfect jihadist. You can see how important jihad is when you read Mohammed's biography the Sira. Jihad takes up about three quarters of the Sira. There was only a nine-year period in which he pursued intense jihad but the number of pages that are devoted to it gives you an idea of how important it was. The importance is this: Mohammed, the man, the preacher, the religious man, did not succeed until he turned to jihad. It's only natural that Muslims would look to jihad as their most successful strategy and therefore record the most about it."

- Bill Warner (source: an article all about jihad)

Citizen Warrior 12:41 PM  

The main reason that I say jihad is the sixth pillar is because Mohammad considered jihad more important than anything else.

The leader of Jamaah Islamiyah in Indonesia said "Jihad is more important than making the hajj... There is no better deed than jihad. None. The highest deed in Islam is jihad. If we commit to jihad, we can neglect other deeds."

Bin Ladin accepted Faraj’s and Ibn Taymiyyah’s assertion that jihad is more important than anything except belief in God. Thus, Bin Ladin believed it was his duty as a Muslim, according to the Quran, to make jihad against America, which included killing American civilians.

Citizen Warrior 12:43 PM  

The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamic organization in the world.

MARK GABRIEL, author of Islam and Terrorism, said: I recently visited the website of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that Mr. Ghoslan is familiar with. Under the heading “Who We Are," their bylaws state: “If prayer is the head of the camel, then jihad is the hump of the camel" (meaning that prayer is important, but jihad is more important because the hump of the camel rises higher than the head.) The Muslim Brotherhood website stated that Allah encourages Muslims to use both power and force to accomplish jihad. Regarding power, the Quran says:

Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. (Surat al-anfal, spoils of war, 8:60)

And regarding force, the Quran says:

Let those (believers) who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter fight in the Cause of Allâh, and whoso fights in the Cause of Allâh, and is killed or gets victory, We shall bestow on him a great reward. (Surah.4:74).

The Muslim Brotherhood website stated that Allah wants Muslims to gain power and use force in order to defend the Muslim homeland from the invader and to establish an Islamic government in the Muslim land. This will allow the Muslims to look forward and start working to establish the worldwide Islamic government.

(http://www.ikhwanonline.com meaning brotherhoodonline.com)

The Muslim Brotherhood is not inventing this philosophy out of thin air. They have studied Islam deeply.

hellosnackbar 10:59 AM  

Dear Citizen Warrior,
Jew with a view is absolutely right about the BNP.
Although anti-Islam they are nevertheless the sordid remnants of
British fascism.
If you examine them you'll find that their members are ex Mosley,
ex NF,ex league of St George ex column 88(Hitler's birthday).
The greatest problem that confronts the EDL(English Defence League)is the infiltration of the BNP.
Rather like a smear of dogshit on one's shoes.
The canon of the EDL is opposition to Islamic encroachment(like you)
Pat Condell has made a statement that fascist nutters have tried to
make friends with him;but viscerally rejects their approaches
"I am NOT your friend I am your enemy and proud to be so!"
I might suggest that you include Pat's videos on your site(assuming
that he agrees?)
This man is the sine qua non for
anti- Islamic common sense and has become a youtube celebrity(look at
his stats).
I still regard your"Terrifying memeplex of Islam" as the most seminal anti-Islam rant I've ever read.
We're all in this together let's fight the good fight;but beare of false friends!

Anonymous 1:37 PM  

Anonymous is right. There are five and only five pillars in Islam, as you clearly stated yourself. Jihad is NOT considered a pillar. JIHAD is merely "holy war" in many different way, ex: internal faith. I don't know where you are getting your information from but it is SO wrong.

islam blog 12:29 AM  

brilliant post my man!

we just need people more educated about islam!

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

Jihad is not one of the Five Pillars. Please correct this, as debaters will lose credibility with their adversaries.

Anonymous 9:45 PM  

Condolences to the family of the british soldier butchered by " peace loving" Muslims in Woolrich. For those who think the rest of us worldwide just need to be understanding of Islam and it's pillars, F$&k you! There should be debate, no discussion, no understanding. Where has discussion and talks got us? New York, PA, DC, london, Madrid, France, Beslan, tel aviv, Jerusalem, Indonesia. All these places and more have suffered at the hands of those fighting in Allahs name. Those responsible for these terrorist acts do not want to negotiate. They view the west and its democracies as weak. We need to show them strength. Perhaps even strength of the thermonuclear kind.

Citizen Warrior 1:21 PM  

A Facebook page called "Islam Against Women" posted this:

"If Islam were a violent religion, then all Muslims would be violent"

The Muslim myth

Most Muslims live peacefully, without harming others, so how can Islam be a violent religion? If Islam were the religion of terrorists, then why aren’t most Muslims terrorists?

The truth

The same question can easily be turned around. If Islam is a religion of peace, then why is it the only one that consistently produces religiously-motivated terrorist attacks each and every day of the year?

Why are thousands of people willing and able to cut off an innocent person’s head or fly a plane full of passengers into an office building while screaming praises to Allah? Where’s the outrage among other Muslims when this happens… and why do they get more worked up over cartoons and hijabs?

Rather than trying to answer a question with a question, however, let's just say that the reason why most Muslims don't kill is that regardless of what Islam may or may not teach it's wrong to kill over religious beliefs.

Consider that many Muslims would not even think of amputating a thief's hand. Does this mean that it is against Islam to do so? Of course not! In fact, it is clearly mandated in both the Quran 5:38 and the example set by Mohammed according to the Hadith, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Book 81, No. 792. As individuals, Muslims make their own choices about which parts of their religion they practice.

However, even though believers may think whatever they want about what Islam says or doesn't say, it doesn't change what Islam says about itself. As a documented ideology, Islam exists independently of anyone's opinion. As such, it may be studied objectively and apart from how anyone else practices or chooses to interprets it.

The Quran plainly teaches that it is not only proper to kill in the name of Allah in certain circumstances, but that it is actually a requirement. Muslims who don't believe in killing over religion may be that way out of ignorance or because they are more loyal to the moral law written in their hearts than they are to the details of Mohammed’s religion. Those who put Islam first or know Islam best know otherwise.

In fact, few Muslims have ever read the Quran to any extent, much less pursued an honest investigation of the actual words and deeds of Mohammed, which were more in line with hedonism, deception, power and violence than with moral restraint. The harsh rules that Muslim countries impose on free speech to protect Islam from critique also prevent it from being fully understood. In the West, many Muslims, devout or otherwise, simply prefer to believe that Islam is aligned with the Judeo-Christian principles of peace and tolerance, even if it means filtering evidence to the contrary.

It is no coincidence, however, that the purists who take Islam too heart are far more likely to become terrorists than humanitarians. Those most prone to abandoning themselves to Mohammed's message without moral preconception are always the more dangerous and supremacist-minded.

They may be called ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists,’ but, at the end of the day, they are also dedicated to the Qur’an and following the path of Jihad as mandated by Mohammed.

Unknown 10:15 AM  

You can read the koran and get what you want from it. People can say, not all muslims are terrorist (but all terrorists are muslim) and we can ask, why don't the peace loving "good" muslims stand up and say something? Well let's see, they fear the "few" psychos that are screaming Death to all infidels. There are 1.6 billion muslims in the world and those "few" bad guys will find the ones that spoke out against them...cut their heads right off. 1.6 billion muslims and counting have been indoctrinated (most from birth) that anyone not like them should die...that is drilled into their heads (brain washed) and with that hate they can be peaceful and tolerant?

Muslim terrorists believe something good---no, something heroic about themselves as they go about their crimes. To them it isn't a crime at all. For them it is the illusion that they are doing Allah's work.

The middle east is filled with hocus-pocus religious fanatics...who have less respect for women, than the non-muslim male has for his shoes. The men in those countries are a bunch of hateful bearded freaks who kill women and children and unarmed men without mercy ...they do not need tolerance when they have no tolerance for anyone.

Citizen Warrior 12:47 PM  

Someone emailed this comment:

You forgot the most important and simplest argument.

Namely that the majority of Muslims are peaceful, yes, but they don't count.

They are irrelevant because it is the radicals who drive the agenda.

When 99% of the peaceful Muslims don't speak out against them that then implies their approval.

Only 7% of Germans were Nazis before the WW2.

How did that work out for the world?

Unknown 9:46 AM  

I live in BC, Canada although originally from the UK. Our futures are bleak unless we learn the lessons of history, which unfortunately most Canadians are ignorant of.
Check the crime figures of the places where this pariah has landed. (Just the ones allowed to be published). They will make your hair curl.
Mainland Europe is doing all it can to fulfil the 1400 old jihad begun by their prophet's teachings.!
Christians are being attacked and killed in migrant camps as we speak.
Crusades on our own doorstep. Thanks Angela.
Canada. WAKE UP!

Savvy Kafir 1:11 PM  

Excellent article! Lots of useful info. Thanks,CW!

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