The Abrahamic faiths themselves are violent religions

Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, Abraham and his sons, Moses and the Pharaoh, Sodom and Gomorrah, Joseph and Egypt, etc., are all stories from the Old Testament, not from the New Testament. If Malaysian Christians believe in those stories that means they believe in the Old Testament.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

You may want to start by reading (BELOW) Barbara Bradely Hagerty’s article (Is the Bible more violent than the Quran?) published in National Public Radio Inc (US) on 18 March 2010. In fact, you can find many such articles on the Internet if this subject is of any interest to you.

Many Muslims (and non-Muslims as well, for that matter) oppose RUU355 and the Hudud criminal law because, according to them, those forms of Sharia laws are violent, barbaric and not humane. That, according to DAP, is why they kicked PAS out of Pakatan Rakyat and decided to form Pakatan Harapan minus PAS.

That, actually, is a matter of opinion (just like your opinion regarding whether Jesus is the Son of God or Muhammad is the last Prophet of God). If that is the law then that is the law. How can you blame PAS for something that PAS did not create? PAS did not write the Bible or the Qur’an.

Is the death sentence by hanging NOT violent, NOT barbaric and humane? And you can get hanged just for bringing ganja into Malaysia whereas in some countries ganja is legal — as it should be if Lucky Strike, brandy and whiskey are legal.

Is execution by a bullet in the head for highway robbery (such as in China) humane while amputating the hand of a highway robber more barbaric (than a bullet in the head, even for women)?

During WWI, the British executed by firing squad hundreds of IRA ‘rebels’ for the crime of ‘waging war against the king’. The excuse given was that England was at war with Germany so any opposition to the government will be classified as an act of treason and punishable by death. (And when ISIS does this they are called barbarians).

When it suits them, governments will use “violent, barbaric and inhumane” laws to restore or maintain peace and order. America will even send its army, navy and air force to invade other countries and to oust foreign governments for the sake of “the peace and security of America”. Yes, to keep New York safe, they will bomb Baghdad back into the Middle Ages.

If Sikhs believe their religion mandates wearing a turban then go ahead and wear it. But when Muslims believe that the Sharia is laws ordained by God why do non-Muslims tell Muslims what to do and whether they should follow or ignore the Qur’an?

The excuse that the Sharia or Hudud are violent, barbaric and not humane, which is why they should be opposed, is a lame excuse and a kafir one at that too. The Abrahamic faiths themselves (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) are violent, barbaric and not humane. All three religions propagate punishments of all sorts, the death sentence included. Even gays are supposed to be put to death if you follow what the Bible says.

Of course, Christians will say that that was all in the past. Since post-WWII, Christianity has become more liberal and no longer executes by burning alive at the stake witches, gays, apostates, heretics, those who blaspheme, or infidels. Protestants no longer murder Catholics and Catholics no longer murder Protestants and Protestants no longer classify Catholics as Kafir (and vice versa).

Sure, they no longer do such things. But the Bible is still there. They have not rewritten the Bible to legalise everything that is haram in Christianity. What is haram is still haram. The ‘new’ Bible has not classified these as halal. The only thing is the church now closes both eyes to all these haram things so that Christians can do what is haram and feel like it is halal.

That is called tipu diri sendiri. Now you can have gay priests and they can continue to be priests instead of being put to death like how the Bible has ordained. In essence, Christians no longer follow the Bible. Muslims, however, still follow the Bible, at least as far as the Old Testament goes. Hence Muslims are actually far better Christians than the Christians themselves.

Now please stop telling Muslims that Christians are peaceful people while Muslims are violent people just because Muslims still follow the Bible while Christians have long ago turned their backs on the Bible.

Oh, and by the way, the Bible says Jesus sujud when he prayed to God and he greeted his followers with ‘As-salamu alaykum’, not with ‘Whatsapp bro!’

Malaysian Christians will defend themselves by saying they no longer follow the (violent) Old Testament and only follow the (love and peace) New Testament. That is nonsense and these Christians do not know their own religion.

Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, Abraham and his sons, Moses and the Pharaoh, Sodom and Gomorrah, Joseph and Egypt, etc., are all stories from the Old Testament, not from the New Testament. If Malaysian Christians believe in those stories that means they believe in the Old Testament.

No wonder Christians want the Malaysian government to legalise LGBTs. These Christians have never read their own Bible. And then they want to teach Muslims how to interpret the Qur’an. Apalah dia orang ni!


Is the Bible more violent than the Quran?

Barbara Bradely Hagerty, National Public Radio Inc (US)

18 March 2010

As the hijackers boarded the airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, they had a lot on their minds. And if they were following instructions, one of those things was the Quran.

In preparation for the suicide attack, their handlers had told them to meditate on two chapters of the Quran in which God tells Muslims to “cast terror into the hearts of unbelievers.”

“Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them,” Allah instructs the Prophet Muhammad (Quran, 9:5). He continues: “Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites! … Hell shall be their home, an evil fate.”

When Osama bin Laden declared war on the West in 1996, he cited the Quran’s command to “strike off” the heads of unbelievers. More recently, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan lectured his colleagues about jihad, or “holy war,” and the Quran’s exhortation to fight unbelievers and bring them low. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last year.

Given this violent legacy, religion historian Philip Jenkins decided to compare the brutality quotient of the Quran and the Bible.

Defense Vs. Total Annihilation

“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 history. It 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 the Crusades 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.

‘Holy Amnesia’

But Jenkins says, even though the Bible is violent, Christianity and Judaism today are not for the most part.

“What happens in all religions as they grow and mature and expand, they go through a process of forgetting of the original violence, and I call this a process of holy amnesia,” Jenkins says.

They make the violence symbolic: Wiping out the enemy becomes wiping out one’s own sins. Jenkins says that until recently, Islam had the same sort of holy amnesia, and many Muslims interpreted jihad, for example, as an internal struggle, not physical warfare.

Andrew Bostom calls this analysis “preposterous.” Bostom, editor of The Legacy of Jihad, says there’s a major difference between the Bible, which describes the destruction of an enemy at a point in time, and the Quran, which urges an ongoing struggle to defeat unbelievers.

“It’s an aggressive doctrine,” he says. “The idea is to impose Islamic law on the globe.”

Take suicide attacks, he says — a tactic that Muslim radicals have used to great effect in the U.S., Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East. It’s true that suicide from depression is forbidden in Islam — but Bostom says the Quran and the Hadith, or the sayings of Muhammad, do allow self-destruction for religious reasons.

“The notion of jihad martyrdom is extolled in the Quran, Quran verse 9:1-11. And then in the Hadith, it’s even more explicit. This is the highest form of jihad — to kill and to be killed in acts of jihad.”

‘Out Of Context’

That may be the popular notion of jihad, says Waleed El-Ansary, but it’s the wrong one. 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 — and irjaf, 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.”

So what’s going on here? After all, we all have images of Muslim radicals flying planes into buildings, shooting up soldiers at Fort Hood, trying to detonate a bomb on an airplane on Christmas Day. How to reconcile a peaceful Quran with these violent acts?

El-Ansary says that in the past 30 years, there’s been a perfect storm that has created a violent strain of Islam. The first is political: frustration at Western intervention in the Muslim world. The second is intellectual: the rise of Wahhabi Islam, a more fundamentalist interpretation of Islam subscribed to by Osama bin Laden. El-Ansary says fundamentalists have distorted Islam for political purposes.

“Basically what they do is they take verses out of context and then use that to justify these egregious actions,” he says.

El-Ansary says we are seeing more religious violence from Muslims now because the Islamic world is far more religious than is the West. Still, Jenkins says Judeo-Christian cultures shouldn’t be smug. The Bible has plenty of violence.

“The scriptures are still there, dormant, but not dead,” he says, “and they can be resurrected at any time. Witness the white supremacists who cite the murderous Phineas when calling for racial purity, or an anti-abortion activist when shooting a doctor who performs abortions.

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.