Taking us for idiots, our president and other leaders continue to tell us the Islamic State is not Islamic.
It’s obvious that the Koran, their holy book, instructs differently: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”
Islamic civilization is not a historical anomaly in its sanction of decapitation. The Roman Empire beheaded citizens (such as the Christian Saint Paul) while they crucified noncitizens (such as Jesus Christ). French revolutionaries employed the guillotine to decapitate opponents. Nevertheless, Islam is the only major world religion today that is cited by both state and non-state actors to legitimize beheadings. And two major aspects of decapitation in an Islamic context should be noted: first, the practice has both Qur’anic and historical sanction. It is not the product of a fabricated tradition. Second, in contradiction to the assertions of apologists, both Muslim and non-Muslim, these beheadings are not simply a brutal method of drawing attention to the Islamist political agenda and weakening opponents’ will to fight. Zarqawi and other Islamists who practice decapitation believe that God has ordained them to obliterate their enemies in this manner.
Islam is, for this determined minority of Muslims, anything but a “religion of peace.” It is, rather, a religion of the sword with the blade forever at the throat of the unbeliever. But . . . http://www.meforum.org/713/beheading-in-the-name-of-islam
Timothy Furnish is assistant professor of history at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta.
There is more to the Islamist passion for decapitation than psychological warfare and a hunger for notoriety. There is also Muslim theology and history, and a mandate going back to the Koran. In a 2005 study published in Middle East Quarterly, historian Timothy Furnish quotes the famous passage at Sura 47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.” For centuries, Furnish observes, “leading Islamic scholars have interpreted this verse literally,” and examples abound throughout Islamic history.
Yet Western leaders keep insisting that the beheading of “infidels” is unrelated to the jihadists’ religious outlook.
Last week, after British aid worker David Haines became the third Western hostage to be decapitated by Islamic State, Britain’s immigration minister, James Brokenshire, made a point of going to a mosque in London to declare that the “atrocious” beheadings “have nothing to do with Islam.” At an international emergency conference in Paris the same day, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius likewise insisted that neither Islamic State nor its “throat-cutters” were “representative of Islam.”
President Obama repeatedly makes the same assertion. When he outlined new military steps against Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in a televised address this month, he avowed categorically: “ISIL is not Islamic.”
Alas, ISIL disagrees. And so do the radicalized Western Muslims flocking to the Middle East to join its brutal jihad, many of them stimulated by propaganda videos that feature the beheading of “unbelievers.” To millions of moderate and peaceable Muslims the world over, beheadings in the name of Islam may seem a terrible defilement of the religion they love. To a fanatical Islamist minority, they are just what Allah demands.
It may take a long while to destroy that enemy, but surely the first step is to call it what it is.
This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe – now at: http://www.aish.com/ci/s/Beheadings-and-Islam.html