War and Peace: Popular Jihad
Almost all the common Muhammadan and European writers think that a religious war of aggression is one of the tenets of Islam, and prescribed by the Quran for the purpose of proselytizing or exacting tribute. But I do not find any such doctrine enjoined in the Quran, or taught, or preached by Muhammad. His mission was not to wage wars, or to make converts at the point of the sword, or to exact tribute or exterminate those who did not believe his religion. His sole mission was to enlighten the Arabs to the true worship of the one God, to recommend virtue and denounce vice, which he truly fulfilled. That he and his followers were persecuted, that they were expelled from their houses and were invaded upon and warred against; that to repel incursions and to gain the liberty of conscience and the security of his followers’ lives and the freedom of their religion, he and they waged defensive wars, encountered superior numbers, made defensive treaties, securing the main object of the war, i.e., the freedom of their living unmolested at Mecca and Medina, and of having a free intercourse to the Sacred Mosque, and a free exercise of their religion: all these are questions quite separate and irrelevant, and have nothing to do with the subject in hand, i.e., the popular Jihad, or the crusade for the purpose of proselytizing, exacting tribute, and exterminating the idolaters, said to be one of the tenets of Islam. All the defensive wars, and the verses of the Quran relating to the same, were strictly temporary and transitory in their nature.
KeywordsBurning Europe Amid Syria Tral
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