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Challenge Match: Seabag vs Druid42: Topic - Islam Promotes Violence

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posted on Sep, 27 2012 @ 09:30 AM

Debate Topic: Islam Promotes Violence

My opening thoughts

I would like to first thank Druid42 for accepting this debate and wish him the best of luck. Thanks also to ATS and the moderators who brought us together in this debate forum to square off on this issue.

The topic of Islamic violence is the basis for some of the most heated debates here on ATS. A constant stream of propaganda from both sides delivered from around the globe finds its way here. Debates on this topic often end in an agreement to disagree as neither side will concede a thing, which should make this a very interesting topic for one-on-one debate. I expect a tough debate from Druid42 but, in the end, I hope to provide enough evidence to prove Islam does in fact promote violence.

I would like to preface my argument by stating that I wholeheartedly believe in freedom of (and from) religion for all people. I know that the majority of people around the globe are decent people who seek only to provide for their family and live in peace. I also understand that all religions are open to interpretation and different factions within Islam hold different beliefs. Some interpretations of the Quran are moderate while others are extremely radical. Not all factions of Islam interpret the Quran the same way but (and here is the important thing to remember) the messages within the Quran don’t change; only the literal interpretation of those messages. I will attempt to demonstrate that Islam does in fact promote violence based on historical evidence and Islamic religious doctrine. I will present the evidence and you will be the final judge.

The word ‘Islam’ means 'surrender'; surrender to the will of Allah. The best way to illustrate Islam’s promotion of violence is to actually read the words of the Quran. According to Islamic doctrine, peace is only available to those who surrendered to Allah and is denied to those who refuse to surrender.

Quran (3:56) - "As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help."

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

If taken literally this means those who reject Islam should (and will) be punished and suffer. The Quran separates the world into Muslims (believers) and infidels (unbelievers) and clearly describes the fate of infidels. According to the Quran, infidels will burn in Hell for eternity.

Quran (2:23) - But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.

Those who surrender to Allah’s will are greeted with open arms as brothers.

Quran (9:11) - If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, they shall become your brothers in the Faith.

Those who do not surrender are considered the enemy of Islam and must be killed.

Quran (9:5) - Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war.

Quran (9:14) - Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful.

The Quran, which contains the word of Mohammed and is the basis for Islamic beliefs, makes it quite clear that violence against infidels is not only acceptable but also required. Jihad is derived from the word ‘jahada’ which means ‘to struggle or strive’. Today, jihad is commonly translated as 'holy war' and is the use of violence to defend and spread Islam. Muslims have been fighting this jihad since the time of Mohammad. One of the earliest and most brutal of these conflicts was the massacre of the Jewish tribe Bani Qurayzah. According to many accounts, Mohammed's men dug a trench, lined up all the males of fighting age (@ 700 men) and beheaded them. The surviving women and children were taken by the victors as slaves. This certainly challenges the notion that Mohammed was a man of peace. But, I digress; this happened hundreds of years ago.

Today’s radical Islamic factions believe in the final command of Mohammed, which is to create a caliphate that brings together the Muslims of the world and establishes Islam as the world’s religion. Their method of achieving this stated goal is through jihad and their direction comes directly from the written word of the Quran.

In my next posts I will delve deeper into the recent violence spurred on by Islamic teaching.

Thank you.



posted on Sep, 27 2012 @ 11:48 PM

A Goat with an ugly head is still just a Goat.

This will be a challenging debate for me. I thank ATS and the Moderation for providing a platform by which we may discuss topics in such a formal manner. Often, it cuts to the truth, and within the span of this debate, I wish to thank my opponent, seabag for engaging in such a controversial subject.

Ever since 9/11, the American Public has been introduced to the new concept of Homeland Security. It was the "War on Terror" during the latter Bush legacy, and the enemy was Al-Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden. Osama was Muslim, and had a hatred towards America, and thus engineered the travesty this once great nation experienced on September 11th, 2001. That, if anything, sealed the opinion of Islam as "evil".

Islam is not evil. It doesn't promote violence at all. It's how people interpret what is written. Written, in fact, in the Qur'an.

Before I go further, I'd like to present a timeline. It's nothing fancy, but required to understand my position:

(Rough figures only, but verifiable if required.)

3000 BCE: Judaism created.

0 BCE: Jesus born. (Christianity created.)

730 CE: Muhammad receives visions. (Islam created.)

Human religion has advanced over the ages. People used to believe a Scarab Beetle drove the Sun across the sky everyday. The Catholic state once had a position that the world was flat, in the age before Galileo. Religion has adapted to the advancements of science, for the most part, except Islam. There's a reason for that. It's not about violence either.

Islam promotes strict morality.

Think about it.

Promoting moralistic values is not a bad thing.

From a scientific standpoint, we have quite a few religious "geniuses" recorded in our history. Abraham was one. He founded Judaism. An update to that was Christianity, and roughly 700 years later, the response to the book of Revelations. The Qur'an is the natural progression of religion in this context.

The book that closes the Christian Bible opens the possibility for further religious enhancements, a destruction of all things current, and a re-birth of strict moral principles, of course, misinterpreted, and twisted over 1300 years. Shoot, we didn't have internet 20 years ago. Ideas twist, evolve, but yet the only thing history records is what we do as people.

"Jihad" means "struggle". It's also a term that relates to a religious position. A "Holy War" if you will, not in the original sense of the word, but the one glorified by the MSM. Certain terms I'll caution to use throughout the rest of the debate, but I'll posit that "jihad" in the original Aramic means personal struggle.

As explained in a text below by an Arab scholar, Jihad didn't mean Holy War but only an inner struggle against one's own evil (In Occident, James Conrad did also talk about our inner evil)

Further into this debate I'd like to present ideas that the "purported" Islamic "jihad" against the west is nothing more than propaganda presented by the MSM. The media presents Muslims in a negative light, and demonizes their beliefs, partly from popular opinion, and partly from ignorance.

Islam is about moral compliance with yourself. To follow the tenures of your faith. It's not about harming others, with intent, but necessary actions to safeguard your beliefs. The USA has a similar belief, it's called the DHS.

To say that Islam promotes violence is akin to saying the DHS promotes violence. It's about safeguarding your territory.

Beyond that, the actual heart of the debate is whether Islam denotes a personal struggle well within the binds of religion, whether Islam is a natural continuation of Christianity, and whether binding to strict moral principles is a "evil" thing or not.

I must touch upon radicals, of which every religion has had their share. Historical references are plenty, people who act upon their beliefs, and history provides us with Osamas, Hilters, Attilas, and Joshuas. Each radical that history presents had gone outside moralistic bounds, fueled by their skewed beliefs. The violence of Islam is the result of individuals not facing their own inner struggle, which is what that faith is about, and fueled thusly by their own misunderstanding, create more violence in the world.

Misguided faith, errant and misunderstood. I would humbly like to present the true meaning of Islam, sans deception, within the length of this debate, and I poise myself to continue in the next post.

For now, I submit my attention to my opponent's response.

posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by Druid42

In order to see that Islam does indeed promote violence it is important to avoid distractions and instead look at the teachings of Islam and the resulting actions of its followers. I would like to draw your attention to 3 things my opponent has attempted to do in his first reply so you will not be distracted by them. First, in the very first paragraph on topic, he attempted to dismiss the reality of Islamic violence as a complete fabrication by DHS. Secondly, he invoked the principles of ‘natural law’ by claiming morality is what drives Islamic actions, as if we all share the same morality and morality is justification for everything Muslims do. Thirdly, he attempted a straw man proposal by comparing Islam to Christianity. These are all very common distractions intended to obscure your view of the truth. In this debate I will not engage in the usual tit for tat, back and forth arguing. Instead, I will move forward and present even more evidence to show you the clear picture of Islam; free from distractions.

You may be surprised to know that since September 11, 2001, there have been over 19,000 terrorist attacks committed by Muslims out of religious duty. In fact, there have been over 400 deaths in the past 30 days alone, including the high profile murders of the US ambassador to Libya and 3 others. The history of Islam is riddled with numerous violent atrocities and the call to violence comes directly from Islam’s holy book.

The Quran contains no less than 100 verses calling Muslims to wage war against nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. I will highlight 3 of these versus and give you some of the most recent examples of Muslim violence; examples you likely have not seen in western media.

Some verses within the Quran very clearly command Muslims to chop off heads and fingers of nonbelievers. Is this a moral thing to do? Is this a call to violence?

Quran (8:12) - I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

The Quran very specifically warns that those who refuse to fight for the cause of Allah will be punished. It criticizes those who value their life on earth and commands them to go forth with violence against nonbelievers.

Quran (9:38-39) - O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.

Quran (9:123) - "O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."

Are we being intellectually dishonest when we dismiss violent actions resulting from adherence to these commands as simple misinterpretation? I had no problem understanding the messages I quoted; did you? Here is a snapshot of Islamic violence in the Middle East over a period of only 5 days (Sept 24 – Sept 28, 2012). These ‘believers’ had no problem understanding the commands of Islam and their call to duty.

• Sept 28, 2012 (Yala, Thailand) - An elderly couple is slain outside a plantation by Muslim militants.

• Sept 27, 2012 (Hadramout, Yemen) - Three children are pulled into pieces by al-Qaeda bombers.

• Sept 27, 2012 (Jhalaka Mela, Pakistan) - Two students are torn to shreds by a Tehreek-e-Taliban bomb.

• Sept 27, 2012 (Bilal, Pakistan) - A mosque caretaker is sprayed with bullets by sectarian rivals.

• Sept 27, 2012 (Mogadishu, Somalia) - A woman is killed when an Islamic terrorist throws a grenade into the street.

• Sept 26, 2012 (Quetta, Pakistan) - A Shiite professional is brutally gunned down outside his office by devout Sunnis

• Sept 26, 2012 (Barzeh, Syria) - Six women and three children are among sixteen Sunni civilians pulled from their homes and executed by Shia militia.

• Sept 25, 2012 (Karachi, Pakistan) - Suspected Sipah-e-Mohammad gunmen murder a man and his two sons for belonging to a rival Sunni sect.

• Sept 24, 2012 (Hit, Iraq) - Four schoolchildren are disassembled by a Holy Warrior with a car full of explosives.

33 people murdered in one week. I could quite literally list 19,000 similar cases of Islamic violence dating back to Sept 11, 2001. Unless you believe that people in the Middle East are inherently violent (I do not) then you must ask yourself, “What is driving these people to commit these acts of violence?” The tie that binds them is their shared faith in Islam. When people adhere to a religious doctrine that commands its followers to go forth with violence against nonbelievers the obvious result will always be violence.

posted on Sep, 28 2012 @ 07:35 PM

A bit of discernment, please.

To borrow a snippet from my opponent's previous comment:

Today’s radical Islamic factions believe....

Emphasis mine, for the sake of my position. "Radical" and "factions" are key elements to understanding the nature of Islam. There are two groups of Islamic belief, the Sunni and the Shi'a. The Sunni Muslims are the majority, the Shi'a, the minority. They both adhere to The Five Pillars of Islam.

1. Kalima, the declaration of your faith.
2. Salat, the daily prayers, said 5 times a day.
3. Zakat, alms-giving. 2.5% of your wealth given to the community, to help the needy.
4. Sawm, fasting. During Ramadan, Muslims refrain from food and drink from dawn until dusk.
5. Hajj, the pilgrimage. You must visit Mecca at least once in your life.

What Islam is, if anything, is a peaceful religion, taken out of context, by both believers and non-believers, and scripted according to their interpretation of the Qu'ran. Such is a travesty when you look to the core of Islam, which simply seeks its believers to follow a closer path to God. To make a clear distinction here, Allah (praise be unto him), and the Christian God are one and the same. The name "Allah" is simply Aramaic for "God." There's no special deity for those in the West, just the same God seen in a different light, and perhaps worshiped more earnestly in Islam. Worshiping your God is an unalienable right here in the United States, but perhaps we don't realize the zeal and seriousness that other cultures have concerning their beliefs.

Jihad is term used to describe terrorism. The "Radical Factions" I referred to earlier. Again, it's a term highly used out of context.

The literal meaning of jihad is "to strive hard" to progress in all aspects of life. Although this word, in English, has taken on purely military connotations, in reality it covers the vast range of human enterprise - family life, work, spiritual development, and, at the end of all this, justified defensive warfare.

The beginning of the jihad to purify the soul is to restrain the self from committing sins and thereby corrupting the soul. The next step is to control material desires and ambitions and free the self from the things that distract it from Allah. All of the forms of worship in Islam - prayers, fasting, charity, and so on - exist to purify and perfect the soul.

There is nothing in the core of Islam that promotes violence, save defending yourself, and Islam makes a clear distinction between defending oneself and being aggressive.

The Princeton University Middle Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis, states that Islamic jurisprudence does not allow terrorism.[40]
In 2001, Professor Lewis noted:[41]
At no time did the (Muslim) jurist approve of terrorism. Nor indeed is there any evidence of the use of terrorism (in Islamic tradition). Muslims are commanded not to kill women, children, or the aged, not to torture or otherwise ill-treat prisoners, to give fair warning of the opening of hostilities, and to honor agreements. Similarly, the laws of Jihad categorically preclude wanton and indiscriminate slaughter. The warriors in the holy war are urged not to harm non-combatants, women and children, "unless they attack you first."

Michael Sells and Jane I. Smith (a Professor of Islamic Studies) write that barring some extremists like al-Qaeda, most Muslims do not interpret Qura’nic verses as promoting warfare; and that the phenomenon of radical interpretation of scripture by extremist groups is not unique to Islam.[44][45] According to Sells, "[Most Muslims] no more expect to apply [the verses at issue] to their contemporary non-Muslim friends and neighbors than most Christians and Jews consider themselves commanded by God, like the Biblical Joshua, to exterminate the infidels."[44]

Taking verses out of context from any religious text allows you to manipulate their meaning. I'll posit for this debate that that is what my opponent has done, and what has occurred with the Islamic Extremists, such as Osama bin Laden, and in due result, a misinterpretation occurs.

Here's a brief overview of the violence and cruelty in the Bible and the Qu'ran.

Violence is a part of everyday life. It's the nature of humanity. We read about the wars, the civil unrest, and watch our TVs while we slowly wag our heads and wonder. Violence is a part of humanity we may never escape from, but in retrospect, we need not point the finger at any religion which we don't understand. It's too easy to vilify something you don't understand.

Over to you, seabag.

posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Closing Statement

In closing, I would again like to thank Druid42 for participating in this this debate, the moderators for giving us this opportunity, and the judge who will take the time to read these arguments while remaining impartial and unbiased. Thank you all for your efforts.

My opponent has once again tried to distract you from the topic of this debate with more comparisons of Islam to Christianity and more claims that the Quran has been misinterpreted. This debate is about whether or not Islam promotes violence and has nothing to do with Christianity. Also, it would be very difficult to misinterpret the quotes from the Quran that I have provided or the information that I will present in this post. Rather than spend my final post refuting straw-men or recapping the material I have already provided I would instead like to present even more evidence that proves Islam promotes violence.

The US constitution grants inalienable rights to every individual in our society and protection from violence is foremost. Islam's legal system is radically different. The establishment of Sharia law, which is the sacred law of Islam practiced in the majority of Islamic countries, creates a society where non-Muslims live as second-class citizens and violence is an acceptable way of life. Sharia law was derived from 3 main sources:

The Quran – All sources of public law must adhere to the principles of the Quran. Only when the Quran does not speak directly to a certain case do Muslims seek an alternative judgment.

The Sunnah – Sunnah are the known practices of the Prophet Muhammad recorded in the Hadith. The volumes of the Hadith include many things Mohammed said, did, or agreed to. Mohammed lived his life according to the Quran.

Ijma’ – Ijma' refers to a general public consensus used in situations when a specific legal ruling cannot be found in the Quran or Sunnah. Muhammad once proclaimed that his Muslim community would never agree on an error, therefor the community rule (mod rule) could never be wrong.

In summary: The Quran is the primary basis for the violent Islamic law known as Sharia, the Sunnah (or Mohammed’s words and actions in life) is a secondary source for Sharia, and public consensus of devout Muslims is a source of last resort for Sharia. Now that we have established where these laws are derived from, let us look at some of these Islamic laws.

Here are just a few of the violent laws of Islamic Sharia which are regularly practiced in the Islamic nations:

• Homosexuality is punishable by death.

• The head of an Islamic State (Caliph) cannot be charged, let alone be punished for serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

• A Muslim who leaves Islam (apostate) must be killed immediately.

• A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

• Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. Slavery still exists amongst Arab Muslims.

• Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, for sins like killing, adultery, prostitutions; other corporal punishments like: amputation of limbs, floggings, beatings and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for the sins like: stealing, sexual promiscuity, robbery, burglary etc.

• A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and also with women captured in battle

• Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her and gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

In closing, I ask that you consider all of the evidence I have presented in my 3 posts. I have given numerous direct quotes from the Quran that promote violence against infidels. I have provided numerous recent incidents of violent murder perpetrated in the name of Islam. I have established that Islamic Sharia law is derived from the Quran, the Sunnah (the words and actions of Mohammed), and from a consensus among devout Muslims. Finally, I have provided numerous violent laws practiced today in Islamic countries under Sharia.

All of this information together leads to only one conclusion – Islam promotes violence.

Thank you.


posted on Sep, 29 2012 @ 02:42 PM

Religious Tolerance.

Not everyone believes the same way. It's unfortunate that other people's beliefs must correlate with your own, else they are incorrect and misunderstood. Throughout this discussion I have attempted to show that the subject of this debate, "Islam promotes violence", is not a simple cut-and-dry issue of violent acts committed by militants, extremists, and radicals that adhere to the core principles of Islam but act according to their own misinterpretation. To allow the topic to be framed in the light of "all of Islam is bad, and every Muslim is a violent person" leads us backwards, not forwards, in our ability to understand the religious beliefs of other cultures on this planet, and it violates their right to freedom of religion.
Sharia Law:

Even though the internet is full of reputable sources for finding out about Sharia Law, people continue to misunderstand it. This is partly because of the recent trend that associates Sharia Law with extremism and terrorism. This trend stems from one clear source: a 2010 report published by the Center for Security Policy (CSP).

Sharia is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.......and goes on to state that Sharia law is a threat to freedom and is incompatible with our Constitution. How can a reference point for your personal life be incompatible with our Constitution, which was designed partly to protect freedom in personal life?

Sharia Law is interpreted differently by different communities of Muslims......Christians don’t do half the terrible things mentioned in the Bible, like stoning people to death. Same with Sharia Law, which is also full of antiquated, extreme-sounding punishments that have faded out over time.

Simply enough, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful, focused through their religion on a closer walk with their God. By refusing to acknowledge the disparity between my own religion and theirs borders on travesty:

A 1998 United Nations report on "Civil and Political Rights, including Freedom of Expression" in the United States sharply condemned the attitude of the American media, noting "very harmful activity by the media in general and the popular press in particular, which consists of putting out a distorted and indeed hate-filled message treating Muslims as extremists and terrorists", adding that "efforts to combat the ignorance and intolerance purveyed by the media......should be given priority."

Sad, as well, but not unexpected that the media would also depict Muslims in a negative light.
However, there is hope for an eventual understanding of this often-misrepresented religion:

Data released Tuesday from the 2010 U.S. Religion Census shows Islam was the fastest growing religion in America in the last 10 years, with 2.6 million living in the U.S. today, up from 1 million in 2000.

Jones also speculated that the burst of anti-Islam sentiment after the 9/11 attacks could have done more to grow the religion's presence in the U.S. than slow it.

Will I admit that Islam has had a violent past? Most assuredly, but not much different than any other religion. Fighting for your own beliefs has been resounding effort on behalf of mankind since the dawn of history. Do age old tenets still uphold practical value in a modern age of global travel and world-wide communication? Not really, and most practitioners of Islam realize that.

In closing, I'd like to thank seabag for participating in what I considered for myself to be a challenging debate, and for ATS for hosting this forum. To the readers and judges, my only wish is to present the fact that Islam, whilst spun in the light of a negative media and uninformed opinion, is not as a whole any different from any other religion.
While there are factions in Islam that promote violence, such as now defunct al-Qaeda terrorist organization, they are radical groups, and not even close to representing the true meaning of Islam. They, as a small group of individuals, perform terrorist acts of their own agenda, and operate completely outside the sanctioning of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). An analogy would be to have a Timothy McVeigh commit a bombing, and say that all of Christianity is violent, just because he is a member of that religion. Such analogies are dangerous, and we need to face the facts that there are evil people in the world, regardless of their religion.

Islam promotes a closer walk with Allah (praise be unto him), and it's the individuals that make it violent: Extremists acting on their own accord, plain and simple.

posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 01:03 PM
Thank you to both Seabag and Druid42 for an excellent debate!

The judges decisions have come in and this debate has been decided as a tie. So congratulations to both of you for positions well argued!

The staff and members of ATS salute your work and can proudly use this debate as an example and reference!

Kudos to both participants for a job well done!



My judgement. A difficult task. Druid took a near untenable side because when he brought up Christianity, he brought to the fore the fact that all religions have used their faith for any justification of violence. Seabag was focused and clear in hs direction and illumination of the issues of violence surrounding Islam. The winner, though difficult to determine, is Seabag.

In my opinion Druid was the clear winner here. I found Seabags argument to be completely cherry picked starting with his opening post. As I was reading along, I could not help but laugh at his complete disregard for every point made by Druid, which are not strawmen arguments or "distractions" as Seabag wishes us to believe but instead go straight to the heart of his whole position. Seabags second post just baffled me. I do not think I have ever seen a debater completely disregard every point made and ignore them, and instead choose to cherry pick more quotes as a way to expand on his own beliefs. I was amazed at how he responded to Druid's opening post and found it to be very .. for lack of a better word, tactless. In Seabag's closing remarks, we again have more cherry picked quotes which I found to be absolutely amusing in that these examples of violence can also be found in the King James Bible. Death for homosexuality- in the Bible Stoning people- in the Bible Death penalty for non believers- In the Bible. So to pretend that this does not exist and to single out one religion is just foolishness. Using Seabag's logic, Christianity is just as much a religion of hate, intolerance, and violence as is Islam and through out all these examples we see from Seabag, we see keywords over and over again which do not strengthen his position, but enforces Druid's position. Words such as "militant", "terrorist", "extremist" which by definition does not coincide with the whole religion of Islam but rather secular factions within it. Which we also see the same within Christianity. Again, not a distraction to point out the obvious and I believe it was a huge mistake to just ignore these points and dismiss them outright choosing to not even address them. It was a great job by Druid to pick up on this tactic used by Seabag and exploit it, basically making it the elephant in the room that can not be ignored. Hands down winner in my opinion: Druid42 by a mile.

edit on 4-10-2012 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)

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