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Answering Islamophobic Claims

Surah 2:191, are Muslims command to slay unbelievers wherever they are?

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A common verse cited by critics of Islam to try and prove that Islam is a violent faith is verse 191 of the 2nd chapter of the Quran, which reads:

002.191 
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith. 


So they quote this verse and argue that the verse teaches terrorism, and that the verse commands the Muslims to slay the unbelievers wherever Muslims catch them. Now indeed, if one were to isolate this verse all on it’s own, that’s exactly what the verse seems to be saying.

However so that’s only the case if this verse is read in isolation, so instead of reading this verse in isolation, how about we quote this verse in its context? Meaning we quote the before and after, so that we can get a clearer picture of what’s actually being said. 

So let’s do that now:

002.190 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

002.191 
And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

002.192  But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful

002.193 
And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah;but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.

So here is the passage being quoted in context, when the verse is quoted in context one will notice there is no terrorism or genocide being preached or advocated. The context is if Muslims are getting attacked, then they have the right to defend themselves.

The context is very clear on that, the theme comes into play in verse 190, not verse 191 which the critics like to quote alone, the critic should quote from verse 190 onwards, and once the context is given one will see that this is a defensive war, not an offensive one.

The verses even go on to say that if the people who started the fight want to stop and make peace than the Muslims too must also stop and make peace

Now nobody in their right minds would argue that these verses in context are something abhorrent, all human beings have a right to defend themselves when they find themselves under persecution and attack. This extends to any community, ethnicity, race, or people of faith.

For example during Nazi Germany, would one say that the Jewish community didn’t have a right to defend themselves from Nazi oppression? Did the Jewish community not have a right to form resistance units to defend themselves from being wiped out? Would it have rather been acceptable for the Jewish community to lie down and simply allow themselves to get killed? Off course not, nobody would argue such a thing.

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