The 2016 presidential race provides the ideal venue for addressing a critical question yet to be asked of any candidate. Its answer is critical both to the conduct of our nation’s foreign policy and protection of our homeland. Yet, if asked, not a single candidate is qualified to respond.
Does the disconnect between Islam and terrorism stem from Islamic extremists hijacking a peaceful religion, giving it a violent interpretation, or from Islamic moderates hijacking a violent religion, giving it a peaceful interpretation?
The answer is critical to understand violent extremism’s roots. The answer lies not in one’s perception of Islam but in Islam’s claim, made through its founder, the Prophet Muhammad, that it is a true religion.
If Islam has been hijacked, failing to identify the true hijackers leaves us unable to fight them, thus waging an endless war against obscurely-defined violent extremists.
It is for this reason, i.e., turning to the Koran, no candidate of either party running in the 2016 presidential election is qualified to respond-for none have even indicated they have read it.
This is a tragedy. It is a tragedy because so much of what the next U.S. president needs to know, both from a foreign policy and preservation of homeland security perspective, should be based on knowledge about the mindset the Koran nurtures. Only by reading the Koran can non-Muslims understand whether those who adhere to its teachings are friend or foe.
We have been given a range of opinions by our presidential candidates from temporarily banning Muslim immigration until we can make sure we have slammed the door shut on Islamic terrorists to “Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”
It is disturbing opinions are being rendered without having read the Koran to support one’s underlying position.
We must consider other sources as well shaping Muslim logic. These include “hadiths“—traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, either directly transcribed at the time uttered or recollected later by one overhearing the words-and the “sira“—Muhammad’s biography.
Comprehending these sources and others are critical to understanding the Muslim mindset as a whole. It enables certain conclusions to be drawn about Islam:
1. Much confusion within Islam’s teachings exists. The Koran is ripe with conflicting verses. Believers should wonder, but apparently do not, how this could happen when, supposedly, Allah represents perfection and, thus, so too should his words. Needing to rectify such confusion, the concept of “abrogation” is applied, requiring followers accept a verse’s later version over an earlier one. In most cases, an earlier, peaceful verse gives way to a later, violent one.
2. With no single “Pope” authority to clarify religious doctrine, any Islamic scholar or cleric can issue an interpretation, only further contributing to believers’ confusion.
3. In over 100 verses of the Koran, Allah’s words command violence against those unwilling to accept Islam in pursuit of its ultimate quest: Establishment of a global caliphate under Shariah—which Muslims are permitted to lie about to achieve.
4. As Muslims can suffer Allah’s wrath both in life and after for failing to pursue the global caliphate, some resort to “martyrdom”—becoming suicide bombers-so as to avoid “torments of the grave.”
5. Under Shariah, Muslims are allowed to behave badly—i.e., contrary to acceptable Western norms of behavior-by embracing honor killings, marrying minors, taking sex slaves and otherwise abusing women and children.
7. While both Koran and Bible detail violence towards non-believers, the latter’s is historical, the former’s perpetual until the global caliphate is established.
8. The word “love” appears in the Koran 45 times but only within the context of love of wealth, of other believers, or of Allah, but never in the context of loving strangers or those not believing in Allah and his prophet. In the Bible, the word “love” appears 155 times, mostly in the context of loving all mankind.
9. In 1948, United Nations member states-with the Holocaust fresh in their minds-memorialized the equality of all human life in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But, in 1990, the 57 Muslim member states of the “Organization of the Islamic Conference” took the position the declaration’s definition of human life represented the “secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition” and not Islam’s. Therefore, the conference declared only the sanctity of human life as defined by Islamic law would be recognized. As Shariah only values believers’ lives, Islam rejects the sanctity of non-believers’ lives.
10. The Koran’s Paradise caters to Muslim men, promising wine and women, as few female believers gain entry. No mention is made of an afterlife’s spiritual rewards. Men are to receive an infinite number of “eternal virgins” with Paradise only awaiting believers who force Islam upon non-believers or die trying.
A non-believer, with logic and an open mind, closely scrutinizing the teachings of Islam is hard-pressed to accept it as a viable religion. The sad reality is it is an ideology successfully sold to uneducated Bedouins 1,400 years ago by a cultist who sought global control.
Studying this religion’s nuances brings one to realize Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was no more a prophet than Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Col. Sanders was a colonel. Sadly, millions have died-and will continue to die-until this reality is understood.
Thus, Islam’s true hijackers are moderates who package it as a peaceful religion. We buy into that packaging at our own peril.
A version of this piece previously appeared on http://www.theblaze.com/