In various places in the Qur’aan (4:89 to name but one), it says that people converting away from Islam should be executed. I am also told that the Hadiths say that Muhamad did this.
It is claimed that Islam is not a terrorist religion. Terrorism by definition is the use of violence and/or the threat thereof to achieve political or religious ends. Given that execution for apostasy is the threat and use of violence to achieve the religious end of persuading people not to convert away from Islam, could it not be said that Islam is a terrorist religion on that basis?
Before you rush to accuse me of racism, I developed anti-Islamic views on the basis of things like these in the scriptures and NOT due to the actions of Islamic extremists throughout the world, who I believe do have a Qur’aanic basis for what they are doing.
First of all, I would like to clarify that the referred verse does not deal with apostates. On the contrary, the referred verse is, in fact, placed in the context of the directive of Jihad against the rejecters of the Messenger of God1. The referred verse has admonished those people who, although they had apparently accepted Islam, had not migrated from the land of the rejecters. In this context, these people are warned that if they turn away from migrating from the land of the rejecters, then they too shall be considered from among the rejecters and like them shall not be spared and, consequently, shall share the fate of the rejecters.
It is claimed that Islam is not a terrorist religion. Terrorism by definition is the use of violence and/or the threat thereof to achieve political or religious ends.
I am sure if you look closely at your definition of terrorism, you shall see that not just Muhammad (pbuh) and the first Muslim state would fall within the ambit of terrorism, but most of the Prophets of the Old Testament and most honorable and even self-defending states of the world would also be termed as terrorists. After all, defending a state against external aggression too involves the use of violence for a purely political objective of preserving the political entity of an independent state. It is clear that if your definition were accepted to be true then not only the very fighters against terrorism today would be reduced to nothing more than terrorists themselves but the very idea of saving people against persecution shall become a terrorist ideology.
I hope this helps.
September 13, 2003
- For details regarding the directive of Jihad against the rejecter of a messenger of God, please refer to a few of my earlier responses to related questions. You may like to refer to: ‘Is there a Difference between Nabi (Prophets) & Rasu’l (Messengers)?‘ and ‘Some Clarifications regarding the Position & the Mission of a Rasu’l”. [↩]