Explaining Muslim violence

Over at the Johannes Weslianus blog, Pastor Wes White shares some fruitful thoughts in relation to the recent publicity stunt of a burning of the Qur’an and the violence that ensued.

John Piper has claimed that he can help us understand Islam by comparing the Qur’an to Jesus. According to Piper, the Qur’an holds a similar place in the Islamic faith that Christ holds in the Christian faith. Consequently, to burn the Qur’an is for the Muslims what crucifying Jesus is to the Christians. Apparently, this should help us understand why Muslims react so violently to the burning of the Qur’an.

In addition to the counter-intuitive nature of the analogy and the fact that the Christians did not go on a murderous rampage after Jesus was crucified, there is a good reason to reject the analogy. The violence is not a result simply of Qur’an burning. For many Muslims, violence is the proper response to any attack on the Muslim faith.

Pastor White points out that the Qur’an urges Islamists both jointly and severally to enact violence against unbelievers.

John Piper is looking for an explanation of the violence in Afghanistan and wants us to think it’s because the Qur’an burning was like the crucifixion to these Muslims. ViolenceA much simpler explanation is that this violence flows out of the Islamic view that they should dominate the world but not be dominated and that they can even use violence to insure that this domination takes place.

The fact is that the reason why these violent acts occur is because of the general violent outlook of the Qur’an toward those who are not Muslims:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizya [poll tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Qur’an 9:29)

Qur’an 9:5 tells Muslims, “fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them . . .”

Attempting to understand the actions of Muslims by comparing the burning of the Qur’an to the crucifixion of Jesus is barking up the wrong tree. The root of this violence is the Islamic doctrine of jihad. This is the key to understanding the events that we see around us. Islam is a faith that believes in the political subjugation of all nations to its doctrine and is willing to use physical force to accomplish that end.

Indeed, that is the key. Biblical Christianity, in contrast, is diametrically opposed to both of these tenets. Biblical Christianity, the true religion, does not teach the pursuit of political conquest against unbelievers, and rejects any attempt to spread the Gospel through physical coercion.