Islaam Spread By The Sword
As mentioned earlier under
the issue of apostasy, forcible conversion is prohibited in Islaam.
The religion did not spread by the sword. There were military confrontations
between the Muslim state and the existing world powers of
The largest Muslim country
in the world today is
Terrorism is defined by the American government as the threat or the use of violence to advance a political cause by individuals or groups, whether acting for or in opposition to established governmental authority, when such actions are intended to shock, stun, or intimidate a target group wider than the immediate victims. Actually such a general definition will include all wars of liberation from the American War of Independence to the French Revolution. The worst aspect and perhaps the most common feature of terrorism is the unleashing of violence against innocent civilians.
The State of Israel is the most recent example of the establishment of a state by terrorism. It was established by Jewish terrorist groups, the most infamous of which was the Stern Gang.
The term ?Muslim terrorist? is used to label Islaam as a terrorist religion. However, it is a misnomer. When IRA bombers struck, they were not labeled as ?Catholic terrorists? even though the struggle is between Catholic Ireland and Protestant Northern Ireland supported by Protestant England. Likewise, when Timothy McVeigh blew up the CIA headquarters in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 people, he was not labeled as a ?Christian terrorist?, though he was Christian and a terrorist. In fact the ?Muslim terrorist? label was attached to the activities of the PLO who were a mixture of Muslims, Christians and communists. The PLO is not, nor was it ever, a Muslim organization. It is a nationalist organization working for the establishment of a secular Palestinian state.
face of terrorism can be seen in the extremist movements of
Islaam opposes any form of indiscriminate violence. The Qur?aan states: ?Anyone who has killed another except in retaliation, it is as if he has killed the whole of humankind.? (32:5) There are strict rules regulating how war may be conducted. Prophet Muhammad forbade the killing of women, children, and old people and the destruction of Churches and Synagogues or farms. Of course, if women, children or the elderly bear arms they may be killed in self-defense.
Usually translated by the Western media as ?holy war? is a greatly misunderstood principle in Islaam. There is no term in Arabic which means ?holy war?. War is not ?holy? in Islaam it is.
The meaning of jihaad is ?striving? or ?struggle?. It is used in Islaam to refer to a variety of different efforts enjoined upon the believers. Striving to keep God and His Messenger more important than loved ones, wealth and one?s own self is the most basic form of jihaad prescribed on every Muslim. The Prophet said, ?No one has truly believed until Allaah and His Messenger becomes more beloved than everything.? Doing the righteous deeds prescribed by God is itself a jihaad. The Prophet was reported to have said, ?The best jihaad is the perfect Hajj.? On another occasion, someone asked the Prophet if he should join the jihaad. The Prophet responded by asking him whether his parents were still alive and when he replied that they were, he said, ?Make jihaad by serving them.?
Defending Islaam and the Muslim community is a primary aspect of the physical jihaad which involves taking up arms against an enemy. God states in the Quraan ?Permission to fight has been given to those who have been attacked because they are wronged. And indeed, Allaah is Most Powerful.? () ?Fight in the cause of Allaah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress the limits. Indeed Allaah does not love transgressors.? (2:190). Muslims are also enjoined to fight against tyranny. The Qur?aan states, ?Why shouldn?t you fight in the cause of Allaah and for those oppressed because they are weak. Men, women and children who cry out, ?Our Lord! Rescue us from this town of oppressors?? (4:75)