In an article entitled "Muslim Disinformation Campaign" Robert Spencer examines the arguments that Muslims make in defense of Islam. Spencer points out that while Muslim apologists point to verses in the Koran that sound tolerant and peaceful these citations are misleading about the true nature of Islam. Muslim theologians accord less weight to those verses because they mainly come from the early career of the prophet Muhammed. The Islamic theory of abrogation or naskh holds that earlier verses that contradict later verses are cancelled and replaced by the later verses.
There is no universally accepted chronology of the revelations of the Qur’an, but the broad outlines of the prophet’s life make it clear that the bellicose verses were revealed later than the peaceful ones. His more conciliatory revelations come from his early prophetic career in Mecca, when he still had high hopes of winning over Arabian Jews and Christians. Later, however, when it became abundantly clear that Jews and Christians would not accept him as a prophet, Allah’s messenger became bellicose: revelations from the latter part of his career in Medina are considerably more hard-edged. Hence, according to the idea of naskh, the peaceful verses are abrogated but the violent ones are still in effect. Muslim extremists are fully aware of this. It is another reason why they feel free to quote the Qur’an in support of their violent actions today: they clearly believe that when they do so, they are using the book properly and "in context."
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 January 29 01:18 AM Religion Secular Ideologies|