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

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.

12 thoughts on “The Problem Isn’t Islam … It’s ALL Religious Fundamentalism

  1. When you look at the conflict between Israel and Palestine:

    DNA of Israelis and Palestinians is virtually the same — they are divided by Religion, not political issues. However, Israel opposes the World because they have deluded themselves to believe that they are chosen by God to rule the World.

    I can’t say for certain that removing all Religions would create World Peace… but it would be a good start.

  2. “The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other. Meanwhile the other nations, once more divided on this issue will be constrained to fight to the point of complete physical, moral, spiritual and economical exhaustion…We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil. Then everywhere, the citizens, obliged to defend themselves against the world minority of revolutionaries, will exterminate those destroyers of civilization, and the multitude, disillusioned with Christianity, whose deistic spirits will from that moment be without compass or direction, anxious for an ideal, but without knowing where to render its adoration, will receive the true light through the universal manifestation of the pure doctrine of Lucifer, brought finally out in the public view. This manifestation will result from the general reactionary movement which will follow the destruction of Christianity and atheism, both conquered and exterminated at the same time.”

    Albert Pike 1881

    Looks like this article is trying to make sure that it happens. Stop playing THEIR game and start playing YOURS.

  3. Once in a while, the one true God has to destroy the vermin. His son Jesus is about to do that. Put on the whole armor of God my brethren, change is coming. The Muslim-Christian feud dates back to Issac and Ishmael, and their dispute over inheritance. Greed and not forgiveness, the way of the world. Not many have seen the light, but they will. “and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” !

  4. BTW, Christ did not create Christianity, man did, and then almost immediately corrupted the Word of Christ. which is just another reason I stand for Christ, not religion.

  5. You’re kidding me ….NPR ????
    I wouldn’t believe anything they say,
    especially about what “they think” God’s word has to say.
    All the other, “so called” sources of knowledge,
    mentioned in this article, are just that ….”SO CALLED”
    Normally, I wouldn’t have even responded to this ………

  6. “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 mainly supported the Nazis.”

    Lost any credibility with that one. Definitely kosher wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing.

  7. “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.”

    Genocide was necessary in a case like this. The Amalekites were the descendants of Esau, through his Canaanite wives. God warned the Israelites that if they weren’t completely destroyed, they would one day be a thorn in their sides.

    They became the jews, along with the Edomites.

    They should have genocided every last one of them.

  8. You’d think the simplicity of ‘Do No Harm’ would be…well, simple.
    Sadly this is the furthest from reality concerning humans.


  9. I’m not qualified to enter into a religious debate, because I lack both knowledge and faith, but I would like people of all religions to remember that word usages and definitions can change drastically over time, and as soon as something is translated from one language to another, a lot of things can get misinterpreted.

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