The Problem Isn’t Islam … It’s ALL Religious Fundamentalism

While the Koran Calls for Violence, The Bible Is Even Worse … Calling for Genocide




Christians and Jews rightly point out that the Koran is a violent text which calls on Muslims to attack “unbelievers”.

But they fail to see that the Bible is at least as violent.

NPR noted in 2010:

Religion historian Philip Jenkins decided to compare the brutality quotient of the Quran and the Bible.

“Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible,” Jenkins says.

Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy.

Violence in the Quran, he and others say, is largely a defense against attack.

“By the standards of the time, which is the 7th century A.D., the laws of war that are laid down by the Quran are actually reasonably humane,” he says. “Then we turn to the Bible, and we actually find something that is for many people a real surprise. There is a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide.”

It is called herem, and it means total annihilation. Consider the Book of 1 Samuel, when God instructs King Saul to attack the Amalekites: “And utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them,” God says through the prophet Samuel. “But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

When Saul failed to do that, God took away his kingdom.

“In other words,” Jenkins says, “Saul has committed a dreadful sin by failing to complete genocide. And that passage echoes through Christian historyIt is often used, for example, in American stories of the confrontation with Indians — not just is it legitimate to kill Indians, but you are violating God’s law if you do not.”

Jenkins notes that the history of Christianity is strewn with herem. During theCrusades in the Middle Ages, the Catholic popes declared the Muslims Amalekites. In the great religious wars in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries, Protestants and Catholics each believed the other side were the Amalekites and should be utterly destroyed.


El-Ansary, who teaches Islamic studies at the University of South Carolina, says the Quran explicitly condemns religious aggression and the killing of civilians. And it makes the distinction between jihad — legal warfare with the proper rules of engagement — andirjaf, or terrorism.

“All of those types of incidences — [Sept. 11], Maj. Nidal Hasan and so forth — those are all examples of irjaf, not jihad,” he says. According to the Quran, he says, those who practice irjaf “are going to hell.”


In the end, the scholars can agree on one thing: The DNA of early Judaism, Christianity and Islam code for a lot of violence. Whether they can evolve out of it is another thing altogether.



Indeed, the Nazis, the Norwegian mass murderer and many others have committed terrorism in the name of Christianity.   Adolph Hitler professed to be a Christian, and churches in Nazi Germany mainlysupported the Nazis.

There are peaceful, contemplative Muslim sects – think the poet Rumi and the whirling Sufis – and violent sects, just as there are contemplative Christian orders and violent Christian sects.

In the Old Testament, the Jews were always smiting one tribe or another into oblivion.  Some Jews stillcommit terrorism. For example, Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

A prominent Jewish leader said that Jews used terror during the formation of Israel.  And some still call for genocide against the other guy. And see this.

Indeed, even fundamentalist Hindus and Buddhists murder “non-believers”.

As NPR notes, murder of outsiders is called for in both the Koran and the Bible.  So the question isn’t whether you’re on one “team” or the other … it’s whether you’re mature enough to evolve past the violent thousands-year-old worldview and act peacefully.

Most Muslims condemn Islamic terrorism, just as most Christians condemn terrorism by fundamentalist Christians and most Jews condemn terrorism by fundamentalist Jews.

As Christian writer and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck – who served as the United States Army’s Assistant Chief Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant to the Surgeon General of the Army, and held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel – explained, there are different stages of spiritual maturity.  Fundamentalism – whether it be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Hindu fundamentalism – is an immature stage of development.

Indeed, a Christian fundamentalist who kills others in the name of religion is much more similar to a Muslim – or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist – fundamentalist who kills others in the name of his religion than to a Christian who peacefully fights for justice and truth, helps the poor, or serves to bring hope to the downtrodden.

Postscript: Sadly, the U.S. and our allies are making matters worse by backing the most barbaric, crazed, fundamentalist Muslims … and overthrowing the moderate Arabs.

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2 Replies to “The Problem Isn’t Islam … It’s ALL Religious Fundamentalism”

  1. Religion a stinking blight on humanity, another 50,000 years of evolutionary development might fix the problem.

  2. The comments while valid state the obvious what is written and what is done, it has been clearly identified and known what is in the Bible and the fact that the words written were not followed to the letter otherwise there would be no opponents to the Torah, it should be advised that the old testament is and was written by Jews and Judaism it should also be noted that all major Christian societies have evolved beyond what is written and have never apparently followed the writings to the letter, It is clear that Islam is still tied to is violence which cannot be said violent past as it is still in the present and foreseeable future so the similarities between the two faiths which are of similar ages has no current common ground and Islam has been left behind hundreds of years ago, the comments with regard to foreign intervention the Muslim Brotherhood came to life in 1929 before the west had any real interest in the region, so it is not the west or american and Americas allies which promoted this conflict, the Muslims have been at it since their inception and have been supporting violence and subjugation since Mohammad walked out of the cave and still are, the Christian/Catholic religion yes has had its moments with the Portuguese, Spanish ect the Anglicans with the British and Catholics before that, but the Jihad still exists and there is no sign of it disappearing you cannot compare a dead regime with one that is alive and active which is clearly where the comments fail, Christians have evolved and deal effectively with those that have not whereas Islam has not and refuses to deal with its problems and complains when anyone else does the world is expected to put up with the Jihadists as if they are naughty children and pretend they don’t exist which is unreasonable and the comments by Jenkins support religious tolerance it would appear and to hope they evolve before they do to much damage, the Islamic society has far more control over its alleged followers than Christianity ever had so just where is the similarity between the two I say there is none, and while the Bible called for the annihilation because man has free choice they did not under Islam there appears to be no FREE CHOICE you either are or you are not, shunned or accepted.

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