It’s possible to watch several videos on the internet, mainly in social networks, advocating religious positions. There´s one, in particular, that tries to provide a defense of Islam as a peaceful religion (and, so far, I’m not arguing otherwise), stating that the word “jihad” is only 41 times written in the Qur’an, while the words “mercy”, “peace” and “compassion” are mentioned 355 times.
Unfortunately, this video is nothing but propaganda. It’s just a tool seeking to justify Islamic terrorism and to radicalize more people.
How many times is the word “jihad” written in the Qur’an is irrelevant. Ideally, it should never be mentioned, but arguing that Islam is a peaceful religion only because “jihad” is three times less mentioned than “mercy”, “peace” and “compassion” it’s a fallacy. And why?
The Qur’an isn’t the only source of religious law to Muslims. The Sunnah, the Hadith, the Fatwa also are mandatory and Muslims are required to obey them. As such, considering these other sources of Muslim law, one must ask how many times is the word “jihad” written on the Sunnah, on the Hadith and on the fatwa(s)?
A reference to Muhammad’s life and the writing of the Qur’an has to be made because both are inseparable. We know that Muhammad lived in Mecca, where he was born, and then emigrated to Medina (June 622). Mohammad wrote suras in both cities. However, there’s a huge difference between these suras, both in form and in content or substance.
In Meccan suras, Mohammed respects the Bible. Yet, in the Medinan suras, one can observe a deflection of Mohammed’s attitude because there are numerous passages that warn Muslims to avoid the Jews and Christians. Moreover, while Meccan passages generally speak to the prophet himself or to the people, the Medinan passages are quite often addressed to his followers. And we also know that Meccan suras were overturned by the more recent suras (Medina) changing the Qur’an’s core message.
Islam may even be a peaceful religion. But, only for the faithful. At least, in principle (notwithstanding the pattern of behavior show otherwise). To everyone else, it’s intransigent and intolerant. And the Qur’an is quite clear about that!
The Qur’an can determine the conduct of Muslims, but who chooses the path to Allah are Muslims themselves. This can, eventually, represent another possibility. Nonetheless, the probability is low.
In Islam there’s no real separation between state and religion. Additionally, most people tend to forget that, unlike the other two main religions, the Qur’an (as well as the Sunnah, the Hadith, the Fatwa) doesn’t only regulate religion and religious behavior. No. All aspects of life in society, including the juridical level, are regulated by them.
That said, one doubt remains. Can Muslims coexist with other faiths? Can Muslims live in western countries?
P.S. – I’ve read: The Shruti, The Tripiṭaka, The Hebrew Bible, The Talmud, The Christian Bible, The Dao de Jing, The Analects of Confucius, The Qur’an, The Guru Granth Sahib and the Zend Avesta.
I’m not saying that I’m an expert in these holy books, but, at least, I read them.