Religious violence is spreading around our globe. Whether it’s Jewish religious violence via the decades old, Bible-based, illegal and cruel Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Palestinian East Jerusalem or Muslims and Christians killing each other in the Central African Republic, or Sunni and Shiite Muslims slaughtering each other in the Middle East, it is painfully obvious religious violence is on the rise.
Currently the most violent of the Islamic religious terror organizations is Islamic State. Islamic State was made possible by religious violence conducted by US politicians from both parties against Iraq. The US war against Iraq was religious violence because it was promoted by the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament based neocon movement and it was fought for the benefit of the religious/Jewish state of Israel. Prior to the war against Iraq, al Qaeda was not able to get into Iraq. After the US politicians started the war, al Qaeda did get into Iraq. Soon after that, Islamic State was born out of al Qaeda in Iraq. Since then they have taken over large areas of Iraq and Syria to which they bring religious based murder and slavery. Thankfully they've been pushed out of those areas after prolonged military fighting. They are now branching out to conduct and/or inspire Islamic acts of religious violence and terrorism in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.
Too many people in power insist that Islam is NOT a religion of violence. They claim groups like Islamic State have somehow "hijacked" Islam for their own violence based purposes. They call Islam “a religion of peace”. This could not be further from the truth.
The only permanent way to end religious violence is to end the various “revealed”/hearsay religions themselves, since they are the true source of religious violence. The best way to do that is by getting the individual members of the “revealed”/hearsay religions to apply their innate God-given reason, which all of them have, to the teachings found in their “holy” books. Once they do this they will see their religion is man-made and violates what God/The Supreme Intelligence gave them - their innate reason. Maajid Nawaz is a former supporter of Islamic religious violence and jihad. He said on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: GPS, “People that join ISIL (Islamic State) genuinely think they’re bringing about an end of days scenario, they genuinely believe they’re working on behalf of God.” By getting these people to apply their innate God-given reason to Islam and the Quran, many of them will realize the fact that God gave us reason and not religion and will free themselves from Islam and all “revealed”/hearsay religions. This will eventually cause the end of Islamic religious violence, and when carried over to people in the other "revealed" religions, the end of all religious violence.
It is also important to point out profound flaws in the alleged "prophet" and founder of Islam, Mohammed. For just one example, one of his wives, Aisha, was only six years of age when Mohammed married her and she was only nine years old when he first had sex with her. It's impossible to respect an adult man who would have sex with a child.
Add to Islam’s founder, Mohammed, being a pedophile, as shown in the above paragraph, the call in the Quran for violence against women and it's easy to see why Islam is wrong and dangerous. Surah 4:34 teaches, “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.” It sounds more like Mohammed was “high” if he believed God told him men should scourge/beat women. To have a law/command like this is an insult to The Supreme Intelligence/God and to humanity, kindness and reason.
I had a reveling online exchange with a Muslim. He inadvertently exposed a very weak and very important fundamental part of Islam. He responded to a post to a news article I made. My post was attacking the whole idea of divine revelations and "revealed"/hearsay religions. He wrote:
"I'll simply state the 1st principle of Islam which also serves as a Muslim's declaration of faith is as follows -
"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
"For the Muslim, for the believer it follows that there's an explicit trust that what we receive from Muhammad in the form of revelation is as he received same from Gibril (Gabriel), Allah's agent, and that this is Allah's revelation. In the 1st principal/declaration there is an explicit characterization of Muhammad vis-a-vis Allah specifically and revelation generally. There's no confusion regarding his role and his means of consort with Allah is identical to that of preceding Prophets excluding Moses (A.S.) who we believe had direct discourse with Allah without the agency of Gibril."
It is easy for Deists to rationally destroy this Islamic claim to revelation. For example, how can anyone "bear witness" who did not witness the alleged event which they claim they are bearing witness of? Bringing this very important fact to the minds of sincere Muslims at best will cause them to stop supporting Islam and to become Deists or some other type of freethinker. At a minimum it is planting real seeds of thought in their minds that will eventually bear fruit. This applies to all people currently in a "revealed"/hearsay religion. Notice that the Muslim referenced Islamic belief that Moses was an elevated prophet of God who actually had direct communication with God. All of the Abrahamic "revealed"/hearsay religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism claim the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament to be at least an important part of the word of God and embrace the genocidal killer, Moses, as a man of God. Knowledgeable Deists can educate the sincere followers of these "revealed"/hearsay religions to the fact that they are being lied to regarding the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament, the Quran and the Book of Mormon being the products of divine revelation and Moses being a man of God.
The Deist Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck." All Deists need to work together to help people free their minds from religious gullibility/"faith" and to get back to their gift from God of innate reason. This is the only long term solution to the problem of religious violence.
Below are documented calls to religious violence found in the Quran, along with attempts to justify them by Islamic apologists, as well as reason based refutations to the weak claims made by the Islamic apologists. The below is taken from my book, God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion. (For additional objective articles on Islam, that were written by people who left Islam for Deism, click here and here.)
Just as Judaism and Christianity have their apologists who twist and turn and go through mental distortions in order to make their “holy” scriptures appear just and rational, so too does Islam. Apologists for Islam regularly attempt to justify calls to religious violence and brutality in the Quran by claiming they were not intended for all Muslims in all times but were only for a particular situation in a particular time and place in which Muslims were being oppressed. A good example of this is Surah 9:5 which instructs Muslims to “slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.” Apologists for Islam claim this only applied to the war going on between the Muslims and the unbelievers/pagans shortly after the Muslims formed themselves into a community in Madinah/ Medina. If this is true it makes one wonder why it is not stated in the Quran letting everyone who reads it know that it’s not applicable to all Muslims after that scripture was “revealed” and written. Dr. Zakir Naik, an apologist for Islam and the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation, attempts to justify the command in Surah 9:5 to “slay the idolater wherever ye find them” as just an attempt to boost the morale of the Islamic soldiers. Naik wrote:
"This verse is quoted during a battle. ...We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: “Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them”. Today if I say that the American President said, 'Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them' without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war. ...Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, 'Kill the Mushriqs (pagans) where ever you find them', during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them."
What this attempt of justifying Islamic brutality overlooks is that Muslims claim the Quran is the final Word of God. This means that this order is from God/The Supreme Intelligence. As such, it needs to be held to the highest standards possible. We are not surprised that a mere mortal, whether the president or a general, would order his troops to kill the enemy wherever they find them. However, we belittle The Supreme Intelligence/God if we hold God to the same standards we hold people to. We can’t believe The Supreme Intelligence/God would give such orders if we hold The Supreme Intelligence/God in high regard, which Islam and none of the other “revealed”/ hearsay religions do based on the atrocities and foolishness they attribute to The Supreme Intelligence/God.
Another call to religious violence which lets us know the Quran is not the word of God and not something we should base our lives on is found in Surah 47:1-4. These verses state:
"Those who disbelieve and turn (men) from the way of Allah, He rendereth their actions vain. And those who believe and do good works and believe in that which is revealed unto Muhammad — and it is the truth from their Lord — He riddeth them of their ill-deeds and improveth their state. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood and because those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus Allah coineth their similitudes for mankind. Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain."
It is clear from these verses that believing in Islam is NOT believing in The Supreme Intelligence/God. Instead, it is believing “that which is revealed unto Muhammad.” It is in reality simply believing hearsay that is being presented as a “revelation” from God. We have to take Muhammad’s word for it, or the word of whoever it was that wrote it, that it is a divine revelation. This particular “revelation” calls for Muslims to cut the heads off (“smiting of the necks”) of disbelievers. It is evident by the Islamic religious violence infecting the world today that many Muslims do take this pretended divine call to decapitation of not only unbelievers, but also fellow Muslims who happen to belong to a different Islamic sect, very seriously. As I’m writing this, Sunni Muslims fighting Shiite Muslims are killing and decapitating each other in Iraq and Syria.
Islam promises that those who use religious violence to spread and promote Islam will be rewarded. Surah 4:74 states, “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” This can only promote unnecessary religious violence and all the suffering that accompanies it. It also makes evident the non-altruistic/selfish nature of Islam in that it is reward based for the believer and/or jihadist. This playing on the selfish desire of people is also very prevalent in all of the other “revealed”/hearsay religions.