Islam is a religion of peace.
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Debate Rounds (5)
To be clear on what Islam is : the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.
Motion : Is Islam TRULY a religion of peace?
To be clear. I am arguing that Islam is NOT a religion of peace.
Round 1: Acceptance only
Round 2: Opening arguments (no rebuttals)
Round 3: Rebuttals/Counter arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals and conclusion (no new arguments)
Looking forward to a great debate.
I accept this debate as I have tried to discuss similar topics with little result as you might see from the "ban islam" topic that I made an effort to counter. I look forward to this one however as you seem to have a much greater understanding of the conduct of debate.
I would like to point out that I am an Atheist and not the champion of any religion but I believe I can contribute an interesting and relevant perspective .
Look forward to your arguments,
First I'd like to thank you for accepting this debate because this can be tough topic to debate. Well, any topic that you are forced to defend your beliefs can be tough. So thank you!
To be clear I do not judge Islam based on the acts of those who slaughter unbelievers in the name of Allah. I do not judge by Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Bok haram or any other terrorist groups. I judge Islam based on the teachings of Muhammad and it's core beliefs. I believe we should judge by a belief's figure head. For an example you should judge the Bible and it's believers by the life of Jesus rather than a group.
First, I'll be explaining the life of Muhammad and why his actions in life are a good indicator that Islam is not a religion of peace.
I'll be assuming that you know somewhat the history of Muhammad and his life so I can skip the historical part. My focus is on the Qu'ran and various Islamic sources known as the hadiths.
Muhammad in his lifetime has conducted 65 campaigns of war. This has led to Islam's growth and power. The reason Islam has grown and spread during the life of Muhammad was because of his conquest. When Muhammad was at Medina he first directed his followers to invade caravans during the holy months. Muhammad then provided convenient relevations from Allah which allowed his followers to murder innocent people. (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 426).
Let's fast forward to the Qurayza Massacre. Even after the Qurayza peacefully surrendered, Muhammad was determined to have every man of the tribe executed. He ordered a ditch dug outside the town and the victims were brought to him in several groups. Each boy had their head cut off and thrown in the trench along with their body. Sounds familiar to a certain group? Between 700 to 900 men were killed even after they surrendered.
Jihad and Jizya are methods created by Muhammad to assert his power. Before Muhammad died, he ordered some 30,000 troops to march onto Christian lands (Byzantine at the time). However there is no evidence that this force assembled but he did want this to happen before he died. Muhammad DID subjugate the local people and extorted "protection" money from them. This is known as the jizya, which is a tax that a non-muslim pays to a muslim.
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection." (9:29)
Most of the Arabic tribes acknowledged Muhammad's quest for power and they pledged to convert without a fight. Were they converting because of faith in Muhammad or fear for their lives? Of course they were fearful, why else lay down your life to a powerful war leader? One of the last remaining tribes is the al-Harith, and Muhammad told the chief that they had 3 days to convert or he would send his army to their tribe.
Secondly we must examine the actual text of Islam to determine its core beliefs. I'm going to give you 5 verses to explain why Islam is not a religion of peace. I want you also to try to tie it back to terrorist groups such as ISIS. The reason for this is because these verses are key to understand their ideology. As I stated earlier that I do not judge based of the actions of ISIS and apply it to the whole religion, but I do believe that ISIS is doing what they are told as the Qu'ran instructs. I also believe that ISIS are more Islamic than moderate muslims, and they moderate Muslims do not follow everything they are instructed.
1. Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers. Qu'ran 3:32
According to this text, Allah only loves obedient Muslims. Why doesn't ISIS love non-muslims?
2. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah ; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward. Qu'ran 48:29
Those who are with Muhammad (Muslims) are severe against unbelievers and merciful only to other Muslims. Why doesn't ISIS like non-Muslims?
3. And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. Qu'ran 4:24
If you do not understand the historical context this might confuse you. When Muhammad won the battle of Autas, Allah had conveniently revealed that Muslims were allowed to rape their female captives. (Quran 23:1-6, 33:50, 70:22-30). However at Autas the muslim army captured women and some of their husbands so the Muslims wondered if raping these women counted as adultery. That is when Allah revealed Sura 4:24 that they are forbidden as sex partners unless they are your captives. If they are your captives you are allowed to rape them as much as you'd like. Does ISIS rape their female captives?
4. Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.
Death, Crucifixion, and dismemberment for making a vague crime of making mischief in a muslim land? ISIS uses this verse to add a ton of offenses.
5. And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Qu'ran 9:5
When Muhammad was outnumbered he had to tolerate idolaters, but when he became powerful the message became convert or die.
"Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer,
a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman
a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter."
Former Muslim Ali Sina offered $50,000 to anyone
who could prove this wrong based on Islamic texts.
The reward has gone unclaimed.
Sources : Qu'ran, Sahih Bukhari, https://en.wikipedia.org...
I think that it is important that I set out my position in regards to Islam and any other religions at the outset. First and foremost, I am an Atheist and I do not agree with the preaching"s of any religion. I am a great admirer of such atheist "activists" as Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. I think that aspects of organised religion are detrimental to the progress of our species and the sooner we move away from them in society, the better quite frankly. Taking this into account, it may seem like a strange position for me to take when I come here to defend Islam as a peaceful religion. I do so because coming from an unbiased standpoint is vital for this debate to be had in any serious way. A follower of Islam defending its peaceful preaching"s would be naturally obligated to try and defend aspects which are not deserving of it. I find religion to be fascinating in the way that it is a representation of our earliest efforts to grapple with the unknown and our origins. I have done research as a hobby of sorts into what different religions try to convey with their teachings and preaching"s. I wish to bring to an end the singling out of individual religions as peaceful or non-peaceful as there is no such religion.
If you were to randomly select any religion, and were able to examine its followers you would find that people from all ends of the "morality spectrum" are attracted and the religion in question is no reflection of this. Christianity attracts good and bad, Islam attracts good and bad, Buddhism attracts good and bad. How this can be related to the argument at hand is this; All religions have elements of peace and hate. It is entirely down to the individual who practices it, depending on their views and morality that decides whether it is a peaceful religion or not. The general public are only so concerned about the teachings of Islam now because of sensationalist and prejudice media cover of recent events. Rewind 1000 years to a time when Christianity set about on a conquest to convert non-believers which resulted in the death of tens of thousands of peaceful citizens. Was this reason enough to question the morals of people practicing Christianity and whether a "peaceful religion" was justified in these acts. It is worth noticing that the crusades weren"t carried out by a group of fanatics. This callas military endeavour was sanctioned by the pope of the time, the church and by representatives of the religion. Should we not also be questioning the peacefulness of such religions?
Analysing holy books is a tricky job and can easily lead to misinterpretation based on the information you chose to include in your argument. It is far too easy to pick passages from any piece of literature in order to agree with your argument if you are biasedly selective. People often cherry-pick the Quran and come out with passages of hate and war, when you could easily do the same to show a religion of peace and love. I include a few purely as an example;
"The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness. "(Al Quran 55:61)
An example of teaching the benefits of carrying out good acts.
"Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good." (Al Quran 3:135)
An example of teaching against the use of anger and the use of forgivingness
"A guidance and a mercy for those who do good." (Al Quran 31:4)
More reaching of the benefits of doing good.
I could include many more examples but I don"t want to make this point too long winded. Anyone not familiar with the Quran can do a quick google search on the teachings of good within it.
I would like to end by reminding you that Religions are not Good or Evil. Religions are not peaceful or unpeaceful. These are attributes that can only be carried by people. People are Good or Evil. People are peaceful or unpeaceful and it is them who decides upon what a religion represents. Don"t try to pigeon hole a religion that is practiced peacefully by some 1.7 billion people on this planet.
I see your use of Christianity is used incorrectly, however since this isn't a debate of that I will not refute it. The term Christianity is very broad and often used to box in groups of people. For an example if you follow the Bible you MUST be a Christian which is not true at all. For the sake of this argument I'll be using the term "Christian" in layman's terms.
Con says : "If you were to randomly select any religion, and were able to examine its followers you would find that people from all ends of the "morality spectrum" are attracted and the religion in question is no reflection of this. Christianity attracts good and bad, Islam attracts good and bad, Buddhism attracts good and bad. All religions have elements of peace and hate. It is entirely down to the individual who practices it, depending on their views and morality that decides whether it is a peaceful religion or not. "
I say : Yes, indeed religion does attract groups of many people good and bad. The point of having a set of beliefs are to give a foundation to base your objective morality from. How could an individual practice a religion and then use their own judgment to decide if it's peaceful or not? You are not practicing it at all if you decide what you believe it should say based on what you believe. This is why humanity is the way it is and why we need a divine intervention because obviously what happens in the world today. This is why God is here as a foundation. You decide if a religion is peace based on its teachings, core beliefs, doctrines, and the life of its figurehead i.e Muhammad. Once you interject your own beliefs into the religion you are not practicing it. For an example Qu'ran 9:29 teachings to fight and kill unbelievers. If I'm a Muslim and I see this verse but I deny it and choose to ignore it I am NOT practicing the teachings.
Con seems to be straying away from the topic with his statement paragraphs. He seems to justify the violence of Islam in defense that other religions have peace and hate, so why can't Islam? Con seems to not have a solid argument as why Islam is a religion of peace, but rather playing the blame game. He brings up the crusades in mentioning that they were evil, and that they should be questioned for their actions. First of all, most of the people involved were not truly Christians even though they claimed to be. The argument that is present in Islam (Sura 9:5) which is either "convert" or "die" is not biblical at all. Furthermore, the crusades were attacking in response to Muslims conquering land. Muslims brutally invaded Christian land from 200-900 A.D and in response they fought back. The Crusaders came from Europe and those who commanded them were so-called Christians and not true to the faith at all. There is nothing biblical about killing innocent people. Again, this is not relevant to the topic at hand this is about whether Islam is peace or not.
Con makes his argument that is relevant to the topic. Con writes : "Analysing holy books is a tricky job and can easily lead to misinterpretation based on the information you chose to include in your argument. It is far too easy to pick passages from any piece of literature in order to agree with your argument if you are biasedly selective. People often cherry-pick the Quran and come out with passages of hate and war, when you could easily do the same to show a religion of peace and love."
I say : Analyzing holy books can be tricky to do but to combat misinterpretation one must fully research the text from its earliest writings. The verses I included do not leave much room for interpretation. The instructions are pretty transparent and one does not need to know a lot about Islam to know what these verses mean. Con says that I "cherry-pick" and I take what I do not like and use it in my argument. This is simply not true, if the website permitted a higher character limit I could give you over 170 verses in the Qu'ran that promote violence. I choose the ones that are more widely known in hopes that you would know this and you would be able to refute it.
Con writes some passages from the Qu'ran that are peaceful, but he fails to acknowledge the overall message. You can find me many peaceful verses in the Qu'ran and I can find you many violent ones. The difference is that the final marching orders of the Qu'ran is jihad. The Qu'ran was spread by the sword and fear. I mentioned in my opening argument that Muhammad had 65 war campaigns. Islam was accepted because of jihad and fear for your life. Why is it that Muhammad receives convenient revelations when he would benefit? Muhammad is accepting when he is outnumbered but brutal when he is in power. As I said the final marching order of Islam is jihad and violently subjugate non-believers. The facts are that Muhammad did not live a peaceful life and he was a very violent person. Islam has over 170 verses that promote violence and surely you can see this is a trend in the book. The various Islamic text include violence here are a few :
Sahih Bukhari (52:177) - Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."
Sahih Bukhari (52:65) - The Prophet said, 'He who fights that Allah's Word (Islam) should be superior, fights in Allah's Cause. Muhammad's words are the basis for offensive Jihad - spreading Islam by force. This is how it was understood by his companions, and by the terrorists of today. (See also Sahih Bukhari 3:125)
Abu Dawud (14:2527) - The Prophet said: Striving in the path of Allah (jihad) is incumbent on you along with every ruler, whether he is pious or impious
Muhammad himself says how he spread Islam and became powerful : Sahih Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror'
Con's closing statement again is not relevant to the topic. He says that religion are not good or evil nor are they peaceful or not peaceful. Again as I stated the term "religion" is used too broadly, and I'd argue that the Bible is peace. This does not pertain to the topic at hand. If con wishes to debate with me on my beliefs in the bible he can, but in another debate. Con says I am pigeoning a hole that is practiced peacefully by 1.7 billion people.
Con is incorrect as he does not that 1.7 billion people are practicing it peacefully. And for his sake let's say they are practicing it "peaceful". They are not true Muslims because they do not follow what the text says. Those who are true Muslims are ISIS because they follow what the text actually says to do. These people who practice it "peacefully" is what I call moderate muslims. I'll propose 3 questions in my next argument, I am reaching my limit in this one.
Sahih Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror
I would again like to make it clear that I am not here to defend any religion, I think they are all equally bad in different ways. I am here to put an end to this facile nonsense of one religious group claiming some kind of special right to judge other religions as "peaceful" or "not peaceful".
Of course the practicing of a religion is mainly down to an individual"s interpretation of its teaching. I hope you don"t mind but I"m going to ignore the part where you ask how an individual can practice a religion in a peaceful or not peaceful way as I already gave an answer in my opening argument. I would like to jump to your very interesting point that you made near the end of your first rebuttal;
"This is why God is here as a foundation. You decide if a religion is peace based on its teachings, core beliefs, doctrines, and the life of its figurehead i.e Muhammad. Once you interject your own beliefs into the religion you are not practicing it. For an example Qu'ran 9:29 teachings to fight and kill unbelievers. If I'm a Muslim and I see this verse but I deny it and choose to ignore it I am NOT practicing the teachings."
This is indeed incredibly interesting, first of all you say that God is here as a foundation. My first question would be which God are you talking about? The God of Christianity, the God of Islam, the God of Jupiter, the God of Zeus, Thor perhaps? If your saying that God is the foundation, then you better chose your God very wisely. I love the example that you use, saying that denying verses in the Quran means you are not practicing Islam. Interesting that you believe this is the case as I"m sure there are many passages in the bible which you and the majority of Christianity chose to ignore or sweep under the carpet. Here"s a few of my personal favourites;
Exodus 21:20-21 " "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property."
Ephesians 6:5 - "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ."
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 - "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
Leviticus 20:13 " "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
Do you deny these verses or do you base your "objective morality" on these teachings? If you answered yes to either question, then you are in no position to criticise the morality or peacefulness of another religion.
I do not defend any violence in any religion, what I am arguing is that no religion is inherently peaceful or not peaceful. What I was getting at is you can"t single out any one religion because you believe their practices to be hateful. To do that you must criticise all religions in the same way. Again and for the final time, you must have misread my argument. I do not ascertain that Islam is a religion of peace, in the same way I do not ascertain that any religion is. The people who were responsible for the crusades weren"t truly Christian? Talk about selectiveness, which you have criticised yourself several times. The crusades were endorsed by all the leaders and figure heads of religion at the time, but no they probably weren"t "true" Christians. Can"t you apply the same logic to the evil acts carried out in the name of Islam? Or does it not work like that? You have a strange interpretation of the crusades. It was a case of Christians killing in the name of God, slaughtering the unbelievers and fighting for land they had no right to. Your right though, Islam is definitely a religion of Evil and Christianity is a religion of Good. The bible includes several verses on the killing of innocents, one I believe I included earlier about the fate of homosexuals. Christianity is now very relevant in this argument as you are asserting your religion over the religion of Islam.
Of course you have cherry picked, you have selected passages which only represent the questionable teachings of the Quran, you haven"t included any of the good moral teachings. That is the exact definition of cherry picking and again I must reiterate that the same can be done for any religious text.
The verses you represent from the Quran are indeed immoral teachings and are very worrying. I put it to you though that the verses I have represented from the Bible are far more offensive and immoral in exactly the same way. If you denounce Islam as immoral and not peaceful, you must do the same for Christianity. I"m tired of religious groups trying to ascertain that their religion is divine and good and others are evil and vindictive. Absolute nonsense.
You are incorrectly using the term "Christianity" because it is not similar to the Bible, if you wish to gain the knowledge on this matter you may comment on my profile I'll be happy to explain. This however is not the motion.
My opponent has chosen to play the blame game, and this is very interesting. He brings up what I said prior that if you pick and choose what verses to believe in the Qu'ran you are not following it correctly. He begins to argue that I must choose the right God and brings of different Gods. Once again this is not arguing that Islam is a religion of peace but rather how do I know my God is right. I have an excellent rebuttal to that statement, but that does NOT pertain to the motion.
As I said my opponent is playing the blame game or "justification by defense". He is arguing that since the Bible has violent verses that should no way allow others to judge Qu'ran violent verses. For an example imagine when you were younger and you and a group of friends got into trouble. What would you do you save yourself? You would say "well he did it TOO!" This is exactly what my opponent is doing he playing the blame game. My opponent actually has agreed with me if he takes this stand. He is basically saying " Yes Islam is violent, but so is the Bible" . So therefore he has agreed with my arguments and openly admitted with what I have said. If he wishes to debate the violence in the Old Testament, he may but at a separate time.
My opponent says "Of course you have cherry picked, you have selected passages which only represent the questionable teachings of the Quran, you haven"t included any of the good moral teachings. That is the exact definition of cherry picking and again I must reiterate that the same can be done for any religious text."
I have chosen verses that are WELL known in hopes that you may try and refute them. The fact is that the Qu'ran has over 170 verses that promote violence. Since this website has character limit of 8,000 I cannot possibly give you 200 some verses that are violent. While there are verses that promote peace, in the same breath there are verses that promote violence. The difference is that these verses of violence in the Qu'ran are also present in the hadiths. This is obviously a trend in the Islamic sources and from these teachings we can see how groups like ISIS see these verses and behave. The way Islam was spread was by the sword, and fear.
Muhammad said himself " Sahih Bukhari (52:220) - Allah's Apostle said... 'I have been made victorious with terror. This is how Islam spread with violence and terror. Another difference is that the final marching orders of Islam is jihad. There are 164 verses of jihad in the Qu'ran and with these verses how can one say Islam is peace? Jihad is exactly how Islam has spread. For your sake lets ignore the verses and just look at the figurehead of Islam. Scholars and historians use the figurehead or the leader of the religion to judge it. We judge Islam by the life of Muhammad and as I stated in my opening argument that his life was not peaceful at all.
Is someone peaceful who does the following :
Muhammad nicknames his weapons.
Muhammad commands in his Quran that adulterers and adulteresses should receive a hundred lashes.
Muhammad in his Quran permits husbands to beat their wives.
Muhammad in his Quran commands that the hands of male or female thieves should be cut off.
Muhammad assassinates poets and poetesses.
Muhammad in his Quran commands death or the cutting off of hands and feet for fighting and corrupting the land.
Muhammad aggressively attacks Meccan caravans.
Muhammad in his Quran promises sensuous Gardens for martyrs dying in a military holy war.
Muhammad unjustly executes around 600 male Jews and enslaves the women and children.
Muhammad launches his own Crusades.
You might say well I "cherry-pick" with what I do not like about Muhammad and ignore the moments were he was just. Well Allah said that : Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model, for him who fears Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah much. Chapter 33:22.
From that verse we see that Muhammad is supposed to be a model for Muslims to follow and his life was to set an example for Muslims. Therefore, we can conclude Islam is not peaceful because his life was not peaceful. I said groups like ISIS see this verse and will think "Hmm Muhammad killed unbelievers so should I".
I stated prior that I believe that ISIS are more Islamic than "peaceful muslims" and they these muslims do not follow their teaching to 100%. My opponent has not disagreed with my statement, he in turns says well those who believe in the Bible do not follow it to 100 percent. Since you believe there are 1.7 billion Muslims who practice Islam peacefully (even though you have no way to verify that) I have two questions :
If a victim of an Islamic terrorist attack studies the Muslim sources and sees a connection between the attack and the commands of Islam, would he be a bigot for becoming concerned about the spread of Islam?
What's the difference, practically speaking, between: a religion that commands its adherents to violently subjugate unbelievers, and a religion that only sounds like it commands it adherents to violently subjugate unbelievers?
We do not have to cherry-pick anything because from someone reading the Qu'ran and seeing these verses and understanding the life of Muhammad can conclude that Islam is not peaceful. If Muhammad were alive today, he would be tried for crimes against humanity and executed.
My opponent has actually agreed with me in saying that Islam is NOT peace. He says that all beliefs are equally bad so therefore he concludes that Islam is also bad. He seems to be more interested in debating Science vs Religion and gets his arguments from theoretical physicist. The motion is whether Islam is peaceful or not. He has taken the route to blame game and is basically saying "Yes Islam is violent but so is the Bible" therefore agreeing with my arguments. The motion is not about the Bible or Christ. My opponent has not given me one argument yet, that says Islam is peace. However, he has stated that he is not interested in saying Islam is peace but rather science is defeating religion. That argument does not pertain to the topic and he has failed to present one defending Islam. This debate is about whether Islam is peace not, and not about science. I have given facts about the life of Muhammad and the explanation of the verses. My argument still stands. From the verses I have given and the timeline of Muhammad, I can still conclude Islam is NOT a religion of peace based on the teachings and doctrine.
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