But that is exactly what we have seen from Islam, from day 1, and it still goes on till this day.
Fareed Zakaria: The caveat, “Islam today,” is important. The central problem with Maher’s and Harris’s analyses are that they take a reality — extremism in Islam — and describe it in ways that suggest it is inherent in Islam. Maher says Islam is “the only religion that acts like the Mafia, that will [expletive] kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book.” He’s right about the viciousness but wrong to link it to “Islam” — instead of “some Muslims.”
Harris prides himself on being highly analytical — with a PhD, no less. I learned in graduate school that you can never explain a variable phenomenon with a fixed cause. So, if you are asserting that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant — “the mother lode of bad ideas” — then, since Islam has been around for 14 centuries, we should have seen 14 centuries of this behavior.
I have been made victorious with terror (cast in the hearts of the enemy)
—Islam’s prophet Muhammad, as recorded in the most important collection of Muhammad’s “traditions,” Sahih Bukhari,Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220
There is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad despite the surfeit of contemporary apologetics. Dr. Tina Magaard—a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual analysis—published detailed research findings in 2005 (summarized in 2007) comparing the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard concluded from her hard data-driven analyses:
The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree [emphasis added]. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with.
- ISIL’s Ottoman “Caliphate” Forbears Brutally Slaughtered 250,000 Assyrian-Chaldean, and Orthodox Christians A Century Ago
Riveting upon the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syrian Orthodox Christian populations of northern Iraq (then Mesopotamia), and eastern Anatolia, historian David Gaunt’s pioneering 2006 study described their horrific plight under the Ottomans in 1915. Gaunt noted that “an intense extermination of the Christians was completed in a short period between June and September 1915”—killings on a grisly scale of magnitude far beyond ISIL’s exploits. Most of the 250,000 eventually slaughtered during the years between 1914 and 1919 were killed in this compressed 4-month time frame.
Islam is both inherently violent and intolerant, in fact, it’s Islam’s hallmark, with subjugation and supremacy its final goal. You have to twist the historical record to come away with the notion that Islam has behaved throughout its history much like all other belief systems in size and comparison.