Quranic Foundations for Islamic Violence

Por Vitor Grando

It’s a common place when people analyze religious phenomena to say that every religion is equally peaceful and promotes non-violence. Such that anyone who infringe peace and human rights cannot be considered a true Jew, a true Christian or a true Muslim. By this common place way of thinking, President Barack Obama maintains that ISIS is certainly not islamic.

Nevertheless, the presupposition that every religion is equally peaceful and non-violent has no foundation at all. This can only be concluded after a careful analysis of the foundational elements of a given religion. In the case of protestant Christianity, the source of divine revelation is the Bible only; in the catholic Christianity, divine revelation is found in the Bible and in the apostolic tradition as interpreted by the Sacred Roman Magisterium. The primary sources of Islamic law (Shari’ah) are, in order of importance, the (1) Quran, the (2) Sunna (Way) of the Prophet Muhammed as recorded in the authentic Hadith, which are collections of sayings, deeds and teachings of the Prophet. These two source and accepted by all Muslims Sunnis and Shiites alike as infallible. There is also, as accepted by the majority of Muslims the (3) Ijmāʿ, the consensus of Islamic scholars, which is based in a hadith where the Prophet has said that his community would never agree upon an error, and the (4) qiyās, the use of analogic reasoning to apply Quranic and Hadith precepts to situations not expressly addressed by these sources. However, these two sources of Islamic law do not have the same authority as the first two.

Now we need to state what should be plain. We cannot judge the precepts of a given religion just by watching the behavior of its followers. What really matters is the causal link between what is considered divine revelation by a given religion and the behavior of its followers. So let me say in advance that I really DO NOT mean to offend the really amazing Muslim people I’ve met. I’ve had great times with Muslims around the globe and even met nice Muslim people here in the Mosque nearby. My analysis is focused on the Islamic precepts which, I think, are not (and should not be) followed by this really great muslins everyone of us know and then to ask these people answers for the precepts of their religion. What seems to me is that there is no causal link between the behavior of these great friends of ours and the precepts of Islamic law. Let me further explain my insistence in the notion of causal link by a first example of Islamic law


If a pastor falls into adultery or if a catholic priest abuses a child, there is absolutely no causal link between their religious precepts and their behavior, because there is explicit prohibition in their sacred literature to avoid these acts. That is why there is no meaning in accusing Catholicism of promoting pedophilia.

Now, when a Muslim believer gets sexually involved with a nine year old child you cannot exempt Islam from responsibility. Am I applying double standards? Not at all. That is because there really IS a causal link between the precepts of Islamic law and pedophilia. The Prophet Muhammed – the man whose conduct is sinless and normative for the Muslim – has had sexual intercourse with his wife Aisha when she was only nine years old. That is to say, the Islamic revelation not only permits as approves sexual intercourse with preteen child.

Therefore, to point to the great majority of Muslims we know that rejects pedophilia and to conclude that Islam does not promotes pedophilia is not a sound logic, because their conduct has no causal link in Islamic law. Actually, in condemning pedophilia they are rejecting their own faith.

Therefore, the priest that abuses a child is going against Christian precepts; the Muslim who has sexual intercourse with a nine year old child is only applying what his religion explicitly legitimates.

As a result, in Nigeria, a country thoroughly influenced by Islamic law, as many as 800,000 women are afflicted with fistula, a disease resulting from early intercourse and pregnancy. The same happens in other countries where Sharia is in force, in Iran, Time magazine reported in 2001, “the law has occasionally been exploited by pedophiles, who marry poor young girls from the provinces, use and then abandon them”. This is only full force Sharia law. This is not a misrepresentation of Islam.

Conclusion: Pedophilia is an inseparable element of Islam.


In the Christian Old Testament, despite never been promoted, polygamy was tolerated. There is no more the same tolerance in the New Testament (1Tm 3.2), which is obvious throughout the whole text.

In Islam, not only polygamy is approved but also sexual slavery is. In Surah 4.3, Allah has revealed:

And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses.

Besides the plain authorization of polygamy (which was practiced by Muhammed himself), there is an important expression in this passage that needs some explaining. “Those your right hand possesses” is a qur’anic expression for female slavery from conquered enemies. Islamic law is expressly saying that the women captured in war, therefore, can become your personal sexual slaves if your four wives do not satisfies you and that is why the Islamic State sells females slaves, because not only you are free to have sex with them but also to sell them.

Conclusion: Polygamy and sexual slavery is an inseparable element of Islam.


“There shall be no compulsion in the religion” Surah 2.256

Muslims who advocates for freedom of expression and of religion often use this verse as a proof that the Quran advocates openly for the values of free speech. In the entrance of the Islamic Information Center in the Blue Mosque of Istanbul we see this verse as a way of receiving the curious people that go there to chat with the leaders of the Mosque (really nice people by the way).

Nevertheless, there is a episode in Surah 49.14 that helps us understand better this passage. A group of Bedouins had supposedly converted to Islamic faith and they have affirmed: “We believe”, but they were immediately reprehended by the Prophet “You have not yet believed; say, instead, ‘We have submitted’ because faith has not yet entered your hearts” and it is said to them that if they obey God and His Messenger, He will not deprive them from their deeds

The meaning of all this is the following: Islamic Faith is a Faith that emphasizes the practices instead of the doctrines. The meaning of the word Muslim is “he who submits to God”. That is, being a Muslim not necessarily implies having faith, but the practice according to Allah’s will. That is why the Bedouins, despite not believing yet, despite not having faith (iman), they have submitted and, therefore, could be considered true Muslims.

That is why there is no compulsion in religion, after all belief cannot be imposed. Or could someone choose not to believe in the Law of Gravity? Beliefs are things that happen to us. It’s not result of our choices. Nevertheless, I can choose to act against gravity by jumping from a skyscraper. In this I can be forced into, but not into that.

And this is how the famous “verse of tolerance” from the Quran should be understood. Belief cannot be imposed. The practice? Yes, it can. The emphasis of Islam has always been the practice, not so much for doctrine.

Mecca, at the time of Muhammed, had got really rich because of its commercial transactions, therefore getting away from its old egalitarian tribal values. To prostrate on the floor as a slave was considered a humiliation, and that is why Muslim faith has instituted prayed with the head to the floor as an opposition for the arrogance of the rich and avaricious of Mecca. The fast of Ramadan has also the purpose of reminding the believer those privations suffered by the poor, who do not have food always at hand. The practice of the zakat, an amount adding up to 2.5% of the believer annual income to be reverted to the poor was also established.

We see, therefore, the value of the practices in Islam. Beautiful values, no doubt about that, that problem is when they are put to practice by coercion.
That is why the Quran can say that there is no compulsion in religion, but in the Surah 9.5 it also says that we should “kill the kuffar (infidels) wherever you find them” unless they submit to Muslim superiority.

Some verses ahead, in the same Surah, the Quran is even plainer:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

The jizyah is a taxation imposed by and Islamic State on religious minorities (dhimmis) so they can continue with their Faith.

And things get even worse in Surah 5.33:

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.

As we see, there is no compulsion on Faith (iman, in arab), but to Islam (which means submission to Allah) or you convert, or submit paying the jyziah or get killed.

Conclusion: Religious intolerance is an inseparable element from Islam.


You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. (Surah 3.110a)

In this verse, we can see that in Islam the elements of law and politics are absolutely inseparable from religion. The best nation ever, according to Allah, is the best for enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah.

In Islam, divine manifestation is politics. It was not without a cause, that Muhammed’s leadership was not only religious – as that of Christ – but first and foremost politics and military. Muhammed brought the Golden Age of Islam. The making of a “just” society is the desideratum of Islam and that can only happen trough submission to Allah, which is exactly the meaning of the word Islam. The greatest mission of the Muslims in the Quran is the making of a just society. The Muslim had to redeem history in the present and that means that state affairs are not a mere distraction from his true spirituality, but the stuff of religion itself. Religious Studies scholar Karen Armstrong tells us that in Islam “Politics is, therefore, what Christians would call a sacrament: it was the arena where the Muslims experience God and which enabled the divine to function effectively in the world”.

Furthermore, that is an important distinction mark between the formation of the first foundations of christian and islamic theology. Islamic Studies scholar David Waines tells us:

“Christians struggled against centuries of imperial pagan power until the conversion of Constantine; but much of what characterized Christian thought had already been formed during a long period of the community’s political impotence. Islam, on the other hand, grew swiftly from a tiny central Arabian commonwealth to an empire of international compass, confident in its own divine commission to rule. From the beginning Muslins were charged with the grave task to Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those among you who have been entrusted with authority (4.59), and, as historical circumstances favoured their enterprise, the experience of power and domination shaped much of what became characteristic in the tradition.”

Thus, Islam brings with itself inseparable political implications which will inevitably conflict with West liberal democracies where the political authority is founded in a constitution and not in the will of Allah as revealed in the Quran. It must be said, also, that the Quran (which means recitation in Arab) has a function similar to the divine Logos, the second person of the Trinity, in Christianity. On the one hand, therefore, Christ (Logos, also discourse in greek) is the very manifestation of God and consubstantial with the Father (homoousios) in Christianity; on the other hand, in Islam it is the Quran who has this function of being coextensive with Allah.

Therefore, from an Islamic perspective there can no alternative to the submission of the way of government proposed by Shariah law.

There is also another political problem posed by Islam. Since in Islam there is no doctrine of Original Sin, there is no need for mechanisms of checks and balances in State structure, since there is no religious foundation for anthropological pessimism and political skepticism. All that they need is the right Calipha with powers enough to put Shariah in full force. Stalin and Mao would certainly like that.

Conclusion: Islam and totalitarianism are inseparable.


I began this text writing that I did not mean to offend my Muslim friends. We all know really nice Muslim people – even nicer than many of us.

It should be clear by now that I am not writing about the conduct of the 1,500,000,000 Muslims around the globe. Because this is irrelevant. What we should go after is the causal link between their precepts and their conducts. Certainly there are many good Muslim people. I am not putting this in question. The question is: which conduct has causal link with the Islamic law?

But there is a problem here. If there are Muslins – and this applies specially to those that are Muslim leaders or that really follow the faith – that emphasize the peaceful and tolerant character of Islam we have to consider the possibility of being lied to deliberately to guarantee the expansion and triumph of the Islamic faith

This is because in Islam there is the so called Doctrine of Taqiyyah (Sura 16.106), which means “Divine Deception”. According to this doctrine, the believer can even deny Islamic precepts if this is necessary for the expansion and preservation of Islam. So that cheerful Muslim apologist who appears on your TV screen defending the values of the West swearing by Allah that Islam is “peace” may be deceiving you deliberately because he knows that the truth about Islam would be counterproductive for its expansion if it was to be know by us.

This is certainly happen when western journalist, who almost by definition are completely ignorant of religions in general and Islam in particular, go after the leaders of the Mosque nearby to ask them for opinions on Islamic violence. They are being subject to Taqiyyah, and indirectly YOU are also being deceived.

Conclusion: Deception is inseparable from Islam.

Final Conclusion

It should be clear, by what we laid out, that Islam promotes values that oppose openly Christian precepts and the values of west democracies: Islam promotes pedophilia, polygamy, sexual slavery, religious intolerance, deception and totalitarianism. This is promoted in each of its sources of divine revelation. These values are promoted in the Quran, in the Sunna, and in the Ijma (the consensus of muslins scholars).

Al-Ghazali, the greatest theologian and jurist Islam has ever had and one of the most important personalities in the Arab world, issues a fatwa condemning to death those who oppose to his conclusions against the philosophers in his famous work The Incoherence of the Philosophers.

Whoever disagrees with this exposition, needs to explain every one of the points exposed above. And before making any association with Christian Scriptures, needs to show the equivalence in biblical texts that could promote values of the nature Islam promotes.

Thus, or we repel immediately the expansion of Islam in the West, or in a nearby future we will face problems even worse than what we have seen in Paris. The terrorists in France did not distorted Islam. They are only following what their sacred literature commands them to do. They act in perfect resonance with their religion. The Muslim who happens to disagree with them need to consider more careful his own faith or to give up his pernicious religion or to change his opinion on the peaceful character of Islam.

Post-Scriptum on the issue of immigrants

Much is said about immigration of civil war refugees from Islamic countries to Europe. It should be curious the fact that none of them seems interest in immigrant to other Islamic countries as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or UAE.

We should understand this question of immigration through the Muslim way of thinking, not ours. The most important year in the Islamic calendar is not the birth of Jesus Christ, who by the way is an important prophet in Islam. Instead it is the Anno Hegirae or year of the Hegira (622 AD). This year marks the beginning of the Golden Age of Islam. Actually, it is the year where Islam finally could be put in practice.

When things started to get hard for Muhammed in Mecca because of the growing of his Quraysh tribe, Muhammed had to escape his powerful adversaries. He was called by the people of the city of Yathrib to be their leader. He accepted and in June 622 CE, after being warned of a plot to assassinate him, Muhammad secretly left his home in Mecca to Yathrib. As the leader, he turned the name of the city to Medina (City of the Prophet) and it was the first city ruled by Islamic theocratic principles and it was there that Islam started to expand and it was from Medina that Muhammed conquered back Mecca.

Now… do want to know what Hegira means? Hegira means what the Prophet has done when left Mecca to Medina. Hegira means what a person moves from its country to another one. Hegira means immigration.

For more information:

1) An Introduction to Islam – David Waines
2) Islam: A Short History – Karen Armstrong
3) Makers of the Muslim World: Al-Ghazali – Eric Orsmby
4) The Blackwell Companion to the Quran
5) The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran – Robert Spencer
6) The Koran: A Very Short Introduction – Michael Cook
7) What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam – John Esposito
Link importante: http://islamqa.info/en

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  1. Introdução ao Islã (Áudio) | Vitor Grando - fevereiro 17, 2016

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