One of the bigger contradictions that we find in the Quran is that of the freedom of worship. Many times, the Quran says that there is religious liberty. Surah 2:256 says, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Then, again, there are numerous expressions which indicate just the opposite. Surah 9:5 says, “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” Surah 2:191 says, “Kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.” Surah 2:193 says, “Fight therefore until there be no more civil discord, and until the only worship be that of God,” or “until the temptation stops.”
Many Muslim apologists will say they are not pro-warfare; Allah is merely condoning defensive warfare. However, Surah 9:5 and 8:39 reads, “kill those that join other gods to God wherever you find them,” “but if they convert … let them go their way,” and “kill them … until the temptation stops.” This hardly sounds like defensive warfare or permitting freedom of religion, rather it is just the opposite. Even the very Arabic word jihad disproves such an argument, for it means “a war or struggle against unbelievers.” Webster’s has the same definition, “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty.” Yes, it is true that there is a secondary meaning of jihad being a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.” Just because there is a secondary meaning, this does not negate the primary meaning of “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty.” Many millions have lost their lives in holy wars with Islam. Many hundreds of thousands of Muslims, if not more, have been slain by Muslims because of different interpretations of the Quran. We see this today with ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and other radical Islamic groups.
With the historical record of offensively fought holy wars by Islam over the last 1,400 years that have taken the lives of millions, it almost boggles the mind that a Muslim will look you in the face and say, “Islam believes only in defensive warfare.” We already saw in our introduction above that after Muhammad gained even a small measure of power in Medina, he began organizing marauding bands to attack the caravans of rival cities. As soon as he became the leader of Medina, having, even more power, he began executing any dissenting voices. In fact, on one occasion he executed seven hundred from the Jewish tribe of Koraiza, beheading them in the public square from morning until night. They would have been spared if they had accepted Islam as the only true religion and Allah as the only true God. Not one accepted the offer. Therefore, they were all executed, with their wives and children being sold into slavery.
After Muhammad had died, Islam grew by the sword as it spread into Europe. It was until the armies of Charles Martel, the grandfather of Charlemagne, that Islam was stopped from their murderous takeover of land and people in 732 C.E. Another great defeat for Islamic armies came in 1863 C.E. before the gates of Vienna. It is 2,950 miles from Mecca to Vienna! Then, there is the slaughter of many Armenians by the Turks in the twentieth century, which adds further proof that Islam is not limited to defensive warfare. Truly, one has to blind themselves to much history, to accept the fantasy that Islam believes only in a defensive war.
Is Israelite Wars a Justification for Jihads?
A Muslim says to you, “the wars waged by the Israelites at God’s command justify Islam’s jihads.” How would you respond? Remember the definition of jihad, “a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty.” There is no way to say that the wars the nation of Israel fought in Old Testament times were jihads. The difference is, that when God commanded the Israelites to go into battle, the Israelites never won under their own efforts; it was repeatedly due to major miraculous intervention on the part of God. (Josh. 10:11; Judges. 5:20; 1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15) Another difference between the Israelite and Islamic wars is, that the Israelites never fought to expand the Kingdom of Israel into some world empire. They were content with the land that God gave Abraham. (Gen. 12:7) The God of the universe has the right to give whatever land he deems necessary. Thus, King David expanded the Israelite Kingdom to the limits of what God had assigned them. Neither he nor his son Solomon sought to use war to exceed those limits. We do not see Israel thousands of miles away conquering lands like was true of Islam. The nations in the Promise Land that the Israelites wiped out were so perverse and wicked many historians see the rightness of those battles. We are talking cemeteries full of babies that were offered in child sacrifice and demonic depraved orgies. These tribes were imbued with a spirit of cruelty and wanton slaughter. These tribes the Israelites destroyed had places of worship that involved gross sexual excesses and depravity. (Ex. 23:24; 34:12, 13; Num. 33:52; De 7:5) Incest, sodomy, and bestiality were part of this false worship. The Israelites destroyed these people because of their wickedness, not because of the Israelites righteousness made them better. (Deut. 9:4-6; Rom. 9:22) In fact, if the Israelites fell away into wickedness, they lost the favor of God, and the local kingdoms were able to overpower them at times. Jehovah even destroyed the Kingdom of Israel for their wicked ways.
Many of these acts against extreme wickedness and depravity were prophetic in nature as well, pointing to a coming judgment of all of the wicked in the world. This is not a holy war, which God’s people are to carry out, it is something that Jesus and his army of angels will take care of at Armageddon. (Judges 5:19; Ps. 83:1-18; Rev. 16:14, 16) You can see Islam today still trying to build a worldwide caliphate, to have all of humanity under Sharia Law. When Christ came, he brought a new way for his people. Christians may conscientiously join the armies of their countries to defend the nation they live within, but they do not form armies and take up weapons to fight holy wars. Christians for 2,000 years have been involved in a spiritual warfare. (2 Cor. 10:3-4; Eph. 6:12-17) Yes, it is true that over the last 2,000 years some segments of Christianity have wrongly involved themselves in holy crusades besides defending themselves. This was false Christianity, and those actions are completely contrary to the Scriptures. Christians are completely within their rights to defend themselves. However, never to offensively attack another unless the offensive action is because they know an attack on them is imminent. Right now, Christians are patiently waiting for the Second Coming of Christ.―Zeph. 3:8; Rom. 12:19.
While what has been said above may offend some, if we are to get at the truth, it requires us to set our feelings aside. We do not let our feeling or our beliefs govern our search for the truth. God actually said, “Come now, let us reason together.” (Isa. 1:18) That means that we have to compare things, as we calmly weigh the evidence objectively as we look at the arguments given.
 Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, eds., Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
 Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
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