Does Quran and Islam promote killing of infidels?

I wrote this letter in response to allegation on Islam in the local newspaper. It was not published but I’m sharing here for the benefit of Internet community.

This is with reference to the letter by Harry Binnendyk dated November 30th.

In his letter Harry Binnendyk has quoted verses 9:5-6 from Quran to justify killing of infidels. Unfortunately this verse is also quoted by extremists out-of-context. If you read the Quran in totality, you could not even conceive of such an idea.

This particular verse must be read in context which refers to those infidels who were persecuting Prophet Muhammad and were in war with Muslims. If someone attacks you in a state of war, in which law are you not permitted to fight back? Prophet Muhammad was persecuted for 13 years in Mecca and when he and his followers migrated to Medina, the infidels did not leave them alone and continued to attack them. Even if you read the previous verse 9:4 it becomes clear that those infidels who were in peace treaty were exempt from it:

“9:4 Excepting those of the idolaters with whom you have entered into a treaty and who have not subsequently failed you in anything nor aided anyone against you. So fulfil to these the treaty you have made with them till their term. Surely, God loves those who are righteous.”

I agree that extremists quote such verses out-of-context to justify the killing and that is exactly what we are fighting against through education and learning the true teachings. Nowhere in Quran there is any teaching to kill infidels or non-Muslims. In fact the permission to fight back against offensive attacks by infidels was permitted to protect all religions as mentioned in the following verse:

“22:40 Those who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘Our Lord is God’ — And if God did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft commemorated. And God will surely help one who helps Him. God is indeed Powerful, Mighty”

Quran’s teaching is purely to establish the Unity of God, establish peace and freedom for all religions. It does not even monopolize the right way which is clear from the following verse:

“2:62 Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in God and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.”

I am happy to see that Mr. Harry quoted the Quran, the primary source of Islam, but true justice can only be done if you read the Quran in totality to understand its message of peace and love for fellow human beings. I know there is a lot of misconceptions about Islam due to extremists within the religion, but let us educate not only ourselves but also the extremists among Muslims or any other religion to turn their attention to the true teachings of their religion and make peace with each other and work towards uplifting the human values.

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