The Bible and the Koran differ completely when it comes to the way they spread their message. Jesus never condoned violence to expand His influence.
- On His way to Jerusalem He came to a Samaritan town that rejected Him. Two of His disciples asked if they should pray that fire from heaven destroy them, but Jesus reprimanded them (Luke 9:51-56).
- The night on which Jesus was arrested, Peter wanted to defend them and cut off the ear of one of the servants, but Jesus reprimanded him, touched the ear and healed it (Luke 22:49-51).
- In John 18:36 Jesus explained to Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world, otherwise his servants would have fought to prevent His arrest by the conspirators led by Judas.
The Koran, the book of Allah, takes a completely different stance. There are 109 identifiable war verses in the Koran (1). This should not surprise us as Mohammed himself undertook no less than 38 raids during his Medina period (2).
- Many apologists insist that Mohammed urged his followers to perpetrate violence only in self-defense. It is not true, since Muslim aggression against non-Muslims (called infidels) is authorized in dozens of verses (3). For example:
- ‘Believers (Muslims)! Retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed’ (2:178).
- ‘Fight for the sake of God (not the God of the Bible) those who fight against you, but do not attack them first.... Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you’ (2:190-191).
- ‘Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s (Allah's) religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers’ (2:193; 8:39).
- They define self-defense in the following way: the world is divided between the house of Islam and the house of war. Those who do not believe in Allah are at war with Islam, thus rejecting Islam means attacking Islam. Then they are entitled to defend themselves, which effectively means that any person who is not a Muslim is an enemy of Islam and should be destroyed (4).
- A verse from the Koran that shows that Muslims are not particularly peace loving people is: ‘Strike off their heads. Strike off their fingertips... because they defied God and his apostle' (3:12-13).
- ‘Believers (meaning the Muslims), make war on the infidels who dwell around you' (9:123).
- When you meet unbelievers in the battle field strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly (47:4) (5).
We don't say that Jesus' instructions were always obeyed. For example the Crusades were carried out in the name of Christ, but the pope who encouraged them, was more interested in power than in spreading the Gospel. The Crusades display the tragic results of disobedience to Christ’s commands.
The Bible and the Koran differ completely when it comes to violence. If Christians consider using violence against people who vilify and abuse Christ, they will not find verses in the Bible to support them. Christians are taught to pray and leave things to God who has been on the throne of His kingdom for a long time: He knows how to preserve His kingdom without using violence.
- D Richardson, Secrets of the Koran, Regal, 2003, p 28.
- Ibid, p 50.
- Ibid, p 53.
- Ibid, p 54.
- Ibid, p 58.