Friday, September 30, 2016   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » General

FBI Purges Hundreds of Terrorism Documents in Islamophobia Probe

15 February 2012 General 60 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

by Spencer Ackerman (Wired.com)

An internal FBI investigation into its counterterrorism training has purged hundreds of bureau documents of instructional material about Muslims, some of which characterized them as prone to violence or terrorism.

The bureau disclosed initial findings from its months-long review during a meeting at FBI headquarters on Wednesday with several Arab and Muslim advocacy groups, attended by Director Robert Mueller. So far, the inquiry has uncovered and purged over 700 pages of documentation from approximately 300 presentations given to agents since 9/11 — some of which were similar to briefings published by Danger Room last year describing “mainstream” Muslims as “violent.” And more disclosures may be forthcoming, as the FBI continues its inquiry and responds to Freedom of Information Act requests for the documents themselves.

FBI spokesman Christopher Allen confirms to Danger Room that the bureau found some of the documents to be objectionable because they were inaccurate or over-broad, others because they were offensive. Allen explains that the documents represent “less than 1 percent” of over 160,000 documents reviewed by the inquiry, which was prompted by a Danger Room investigation in September. The FBI purged documents according to four criteria: “factual errors”; “poor taste”; employment of “stereotypes” about Arabs or Muslims; or presenting information that “lacked precision.”

Danger Room uncovered several such documents in the fall, including some instructing FBI counterterrorism agents that “mainstream” Muslims sympathized with terrorists; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult” leader; and that the more “devout” a Muslim was, the more likely he would be to commit a violent act. Some documents even purported to graph the correlation. The FBI initially said the instruction occurred “one time only.” But when Danger Room uncovered additional anti-Islam materials — in briefings that compared Islam to the Death Star; in books on the shelves of the FBI training library at Quantico; and in pages hosted on internal FBI websites — the bureau began an extensive internal review.

Salam al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, attended the FBI meeting. He came away worried that the volume of anti-Muslim training documents hands al-Qaida an unnecessary win.

“People will report criminal activity to the authorities, that’s been proven time and again,” Marayati tells Danger Room. “But if we are giving propaganda to al-Qaida, resuscitating this dying ideology that al-Qaida is promoting, by continually exposing anti-Muslim propaganda published by the government, that undermines our pluralism, which is the best defense against any transnational ideological threat.”

Others think that the FBI can’t stop at purging internal documents. “It’s a bit hard to avoid the conclusion there isn’t a problem of culture in the [FBI] training division,” says Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab-American Institute, whose subordinates also attended the meeting. “It’s one that appears to have some built-in biases when it comes to the Arab-American and Muslim-American communities.” Allen declined to respond.

But the FBI isn’t finished. The bureau plans to publish a “touchstone document” in the coming weeks that explains its criteria to ensure new anti-Islam documents won’t enter counterterrorism training in the future. Similarly, the Justice Department plans on March 21 to release “Cultural Competency” guidelines for dealing with Arab and Muslim communities on counterterrorism, according to Xochitl Hinojosa, a department spokeswoman.

Several civil-rights advocates said they appreciated Mueller’s personal attention. The Wednesday meeting had been scheduled by the FBI’s public-affairs arm, whose deputy assistant director, Jeff Mazanec, briefed the groups for about 40 minutes before Mueller unexpectedly joined.

“Director Mueller acknowledged the seriousness of our concerns and expressed a commitment to maintaining contact with the inter-religious community,” says Rev. C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, another attendee at the meeting. Mueller “seemed to understand the hurt and pain as well as the fear, engendered by the offensive, inappropriate and insensitive materials.”

But the worst may not have passed. Allen acknowledged that the internal review, assisted by the Army’s counterterrorism specialists at West Point, hasn’t yet concluded. Several additional organizations have filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the specific offending documents; attendees came away with the impression that their disclosure will be ugly.

The White House ordered a government-wide review of counterterrorism training late last year. A Pentagon document responding to the order cited Danger Room’s series as an impetus for the effort.

Berry says she could “see the seriousness with which [the FBI] has approached this.” But she calls the problem a “systemic” one, with urgent implications for U.S. domestic counterterrorism — a concern voiced by Attorney General Eric Holder as well.

“They’ve never owned this problem. It’s not a problem of outside contractors,” she tells Danger Room. “They’re producing these kind of documents that inhibit our counterterrorism efforts. We need our communities engaged, and these have done nothing but alienate us.”

Original post: FBI Purges Hundreds of Terrorism Documents in Islamophobia Probe

Share/Bookmark




60 Comments »

  1. bout fn time!

  2. Well, expecting honety, or transparency from the FBI is just naive.

  3. Everyone is prone to violence.
    Give them an ideology and weapons, there you go.
    Remember those “DEMOCRATIC” fouding fathers who fought against the British monarchy??? LOOOOL

  4. Okay, but has it purged the ATTITUDE?

  5. you got to start somewhere

  6. There are online universities offering advance degrees in anti/counter terrorism that focus specifically on the “violent nature of Islam and Muslims”.

  7. Unfortunately the damage has been done – a lot of it.

  8. It’s far too late to correct a lot of the damage already caused.

  9. So Imad and Anthony, the fault is all the FBI’s? The Muslim community should shoulder no responsibility for the perception among some that Muslims are more prone to violence than say, Buddhists?

  10. So Imad and Anthony, the fault is all the FBI’s? The Muslim community should shoulder no responsibility for the perception among some that Muslims are more prone to violence than say, Buddhists?

  11. why would the law abiding muslim community shoulder the responsibility of the criminals?

  12. why would the law abiding muslim community shoulder the responsibility of the criminals?

  13. Did I say, “The law abiding Muslim community should shoulder the responsibility of criminal Muslims?” No. My point was that there is a reason many associate Islam with violence, while they don’t associate a religion like Buddhism with violence. I got the sense that Anthony and and Imad were suggesting that many associate Islam with violence solely because of the “Islamophobic” actions of the FBI, whereas many others would suggest it has more to do with the actions of those who engage in violence and frame their motivations in explicitly Islamic language. Why do you personally believe that some associate Islam with violence, Innara?

  14. Did I say, “The law abiding Muslim community should shoulder the responsibility of criminal Muslims?” No. My point was that there is a reason many associate Islam with violence, while they don’t associate a religion like Buddhism with violence. I got the sense that Anthony and and Imad were suggesting that many associate Islam with violence solely because of the “Islamophobic” actions of the FBI, whereas many others would suggest it has more to do with the actions of those who engage in violence and frame their motivations in explicitly Islamic language. Why do you personally believe that some associate Islam with violence, Innara?

  15. the reason is the fbi and the media. or could it be that some christians groups r threatened by the rising number of islam. and r targeting islam, because of their own shortcomings? http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/report-calls-muslim-terrorism-a-minuscule-threat/2012/02/08/gIQA9yWbzQ_story.html

  16. the reason is the fbi and the media. or could it be that some christians groups r threatened by the rising number of islam. and r targeting islam, because of their own shortcomings? http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/report-calls-muslim-terrorism-a-minuscule-threat/2012/02/08/gIQA9yWbzQ_story.html

  17. Interesting. So in your opinion, the perception among many that Islam is a more violent faith than Buddhism is purely due to the FBI, the media and Christian groups? It has absolutely nothing to do with those who engage in violent actions and justify their behavior by citing Islamic scripture? What led you to that conclusion?

  18. Interesting. So in your opinion, the perception among many that Islam is a more violent faith than Buddhism is purely due to the FBI, the media and Christian groups? It has absolutely nothing to do with those who engage in violent actions and justify their behavior by citing Islamic scripture? What led you to that conclusion?

  19. i am not denying the fact that their r people who twist the quranic verses to justify their political agenda’s. (taliban and al-qaida) but if u notice this hype of islamophobia is rather current. so in my opinion the blame falls on the media, fbi and the chrisitian groups. and if u look at the article i posted, it proves that the fbi is wrong. and i think everyone should agree nobody likes another country invading their homeland for oil or for religious reasons. and i have traveled to muslim countries. and believe me, there r no 24/7 riots or violence going on there as the media portrays here. the people there r rather friendly and very hospitable.

  20. Muslem not terrorism,,very kind people and peaceful mannares ..

  21. Muslem not terrorism,,very kind people and peaceful mannares ..

  22. Cameron are you seriously comparing the American Revolution to terrorism?

  23. Cameron are you seriously comparing the American Revolution to terrorism?

  24. Vitor nevermind that terrorism.worldwide is overwhelmingly Islamic, its all the fault of the media, Christians and the fbi. Rofl

  25. Vitor nevermind that terrorism.worldwide is overwhelmingly Islamic, its all the fault of the media, Christians and the fbi. Rofl

  26. nevermind that bigots only watch faux news. and believe everything blindly. brainless minions……….. (:

  27. nevermind that bigots only watch faux news. and believe everything blindly. brainless minions……….. (:

  28. Why didn’t you answer my questions, Innara? I’d really like more insight into which verses you think extremists are twisting, how they’re twisting them, and what you’re doing to convince them to stop twisting them.

  29. Why didn’t you answer my questions, Innara? I’d really like more insight into which verses you think extremists are twisting, how they’re twisting them, and what you’re doing to convince them to stop twisting them.

  30. i answered ur question. if its not according to ur bigoted views, then its not my fault. i would like to ask u what r u doing to convince the kkk the their views r wrong. and what awareness r u contributing to with the child molesting priests. and what r u doing to stop the abortion clinic bombers?

  31. i answered ur question. if its not according to ur bigoted views, then its not my fault. i would like to ask u what r u doing to convince the kkk the their views r wrong. and what awareness r u contributing to with the child molesting priests. and what r u doing to stop the abortion clinic bombers?

  32. I wanted specifics. Which specific verses do you think extremists are twisting? Why do you believe their interpretations of these verses are wrong? How would you convince an extremist that they’ve improperly understood these verses?

  33. I wanted specifics. Which specific verses do you think extremists are twisting? Why do you believe their interpretations of these verses are wrong? How would you convince an extremist that they’ve improperly understood these verses?

  34. umm funny why don’t u answer my questions?

  35. umm funny why don’t u answer my questions?

  36. But you didn’t answer my questions. Provide me an example of a verse that extremists twist. Tell me why you think your interpretation of this particular verse is more valid than theirs. What questions do you want me to answer? Alright, I condemn all priests who have molested children. Any man who has sex with a child is a filthy pervert, and as Jesus himself said, the eternal punishment of those who do such things will be so severe that it would have been better for them to have a millstone tied around their necks and thrown into the sea (which means that Muhammad must be pretty miserable about now, eh?). Furthermore, I condemn the Catholic Church for not allowing priests to marry. There’s no Biblical basis for this ruling, and I strongly reject it. What specific acts of the KKK would you like me to condemn? Their hatred? Of course I condemn it. As Jesus affirmed, the most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, so their hatred is terribly unbiblical, and I condemn it in the strongest terms. Of course I condemn abortion clinic bombers. By the way, when was the last time that happened? The way people bring them up I’d think they happened every other day. Nevertheless, I strongly condemn such acts of violence, as it’s totally counterproductive and dishonoring to the message of Christ. Anything else? What are your thoughts on the Underwear Bomber? How do you think he misunderstood Islam in such a terrible way?

  37. But you didn’t answer my questions. Provide me an example of a verse that extremists twist. Tell me why you think your interpretation of this particular verse is more valid than theirs. What questions do you want me to answer? Alright, I condemn all priests who have molested children. Any man who has sex with a child is a filthy pervert, and as Jesus himself said, the eternal punishment of those who do such things will be so severe that it would have been better for them to have a millstone tied around their necks and thrown into the sea (which means that Muhammad must be pretty miserable about now, eh?). Furthermore, I condemn the Catholic Church for not allowing priests to marry. There’s no Biblical basis for this ruling, and I strongly reject it. What specific acts of the KKK would you like me to condemn? Their hatred? Of course I condemn it. As Jesus affirmed, the most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, so their hatred is terribly unbiblical, and I condemn it in the strongest terms. Of course I condemn abortion clinic bombers. By the way, when was the last time that happened? The way people bring them up I’d think they happened every other day. Nevertheless, I strongly condemn such acts of violence, as it’s totally counterproductive and dishonoring to the message of Christ. Anything else? What are your thoughts on the Underwear Bomber? How do you think he misunderstood Islam in such a terrible way?

  38. such hypocrisy on ur part vitor. u want us muslims to go to hamas and tell them they r wrong. while u just sit at home and declare u condemn all evil acts done in the name of christianity. why don’t u get up get out of ur comfortable home and do something about instead of the easy way out. and for crying out loud all the muslims on this page condemn all evil acts done by muslims or non-muslims. and the peaceful muslims don’t have to give explanations for the evil ones. we have nothing to do with them or their understanding of islam. just like the majority of christians have nothing to do with nazis or kkk. and as for ur verses, all u have to do is visit one of ur favorite anti-islam sites. and u will find them listed. and i am sure u r aware of that fact. and what these terrorists and u have in common is that u twist these verses the same way. fyi these verses were written 1400 yrs ago when muslims were being attacked by pagans just for practicing islam. god told muslims to fight in self defense. btw there is no verse in the quran that says to kill innocents.

  39. such hypocrisy on ur part vitor. u want us muslims to go to hamas and tell them they r wrong. while u just sit at home and declare u condemn all evil acts done in the name of christianity. why don’t u get up get out of ur comfortable home and do something about instead of the easy way out. and for crying out loud all the muslims on this page condemn all evil acts done by muslims or non-muslims. and the peaceful muslims don’t have to give explanations for the evil ones. we have nothing to do with them or their understanding of islam. just like the majority of christians have nothing to do with nazis or kkk. and as for ur verses, all u have to do is visit one of ur favorite anti-islam sites. and u will find them listed. and i am sure u r aware of that fact. and what these terrorists and u have in common is that u twist these verses the same way. fyi these verses were written 1400 yrs ago when muslims were being attacked by pagans just for practicing islam. god told muslims to fight in self defense. btw there is no verse in the quran that says to kill innocents.

  40. //btw there is no verse in the quran that says to kill innocents.// Right, but who is innocent? Let’s look at 5:33-The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom—Right, so if you “make war upon Allah” or “strive after corruption”, you’re not innocent and should be killed, crucified or dismembered. Why do you think Allah was so vague about such a serious issue? Commanding murder, crucifixion and dismemberment and then leaving the grounds for such punishment totally open to interpretation? Seems like quite a mistake for an all-powerful God, wouldn’t you say? And when “extremists” use verses such as these to murder those they think are “causing corruption”, how would you say they’ve misinterpreted them?

  41. //btw there is no verse in the quran that says to kill innocents.// Right, but who is innocent? Let’s look at 5:33-The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom—Right, so if you “make war upon Allah” or “strive after corruption”, you’re not innocent and should be killed, crucified or dismembered. Why do you think Allah was so vague about such a serious issue? Commanding murder, crucifixion and dismemberment and then leaving the grounds for such punishment totally open to interpretation? Seems like quite a mistake for an all-powerful God, wouldn’t you say? And when “extremists” use verses such as these to murder those they think are “causing corruption”, how would you say they’ve misinterpreted them?

  42. u have no idea what the new muslims were going through in medina in the hands of pagans. the new muslims and their children were starved by the pagans. because they stopped all supply of food to them. the muslims were beaten and even killed just for practicing islam. the new muslims lives were in great jeapardy. they were forced out of their homes. some of them even escaped to other countries to save their lives and their childrens’s lives. now if u still think the pagans were innocent. u need ur head checked.

  43. u have no idea what the new muslims were going through in medina in the hands of pagans. the new muslims and their children were starved by the pagans. because they stopped all supply of food to them. the muslims were beaten and even killed just for practicing islam. the new muslims lives were in great jeapardy. they were forced out of their homes. some of them even escaped to other countries to save their lives and their childrens’s lives. now if u still think the pagans were innocent. u need ur head checked.

  44. So Quran 5:33 is applicable only to Muslims who lived during the time of the “Prophet”? It should now be completely disregarded? Does that go for all of the rest of the Quran too? If so, for once I completely agree with you.

  45. So Quran 5:33 is applicable only to Muslims who lived during the time of the “Prophet”? It should now be completely disregarded? Does that go for all of the rest of the Quran too? If so, for once I completely agree with you.

  46. why should it be disregarded? why do u think god told the stories of moses and pharaoh or the story of noah? so one can learn a lesson from experiences of the bygones. and to place the quran in current times. what we learn from this verse is that the hardships the new muslims went through. and the sacrifices they made for the future umma. and that today’s muslims should not take islam for granted. and that today we should appreciate what god has blessed us with. ie freedom to practice our religion.

  47. why should it be disregarded? why do u think god told the stories of moses and pharaoh or the story of noah? so one can learn a lesson from experiences of the bygones. and to place the quran in current times. what we learn from this verse is that the hardships the new muslims went through. and the sacrifices they made for the future umma. and that today’s muslims should not take islam for granted. and that today we should appreciate what god has blessed us with. ie freedom to practice our religion.

  48. Because as the verse makes clear, it isn’t a descriptive account of past battles. It’s a new law that is to be followed by all Muslims. Let’s look at it again: Quran 5:32-Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.—Now this is an example of a descriptive account. As Allah tells us, this was the law for the Children of Israel. But, as the next verse makes clear, Allah has brought a new law. Quran 5:33-Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment—This isn’t a descprtion of past battles. It’s clearly an open-ended command for all Muslims to follow. And as the Quran is eternal and unchangeable, it means that in the year 2012, people should be murdered, crucified, or dismembered if they “cause corruption in the land”. You live in a Western country, right? If so, then you’re aware that there’s no law on the books for such vaguely defined crimes as “waging war against Allah” or “causing corruption in the land”. And certainly, crucifixion and dismemberment are not performed upon people who may be guilty of such “crimes”. But as a Muslim, you do believe those laws should be changed, right? You do think that Western countries should start crucifying and dismembering people who “cause corruption”, right? Or do you think the manmade, Western laws are superior to those of Allah?

  49. Because as the verse makes clear, it isn’t a descriptive account of past battles. It’s a new law that is to be followed by all Muslims. Let’s look at it again: Quran 5:32-Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.—Now this is an example of a descriptive account. As Allah tells us, this was the law for the Children of Israel. But, as the next verse makes clear, Allah has brought a new law. Quran 5:33-Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment—This isn’t a descprtion of past battles. It’s clearly an open-ended command for all Muslims to follow. And as the Quran is eternal and unchangeable, it means that in the year 2012, people should be murdered, crucified, or dismembered if they “cause corruption in the land”. You live in a Western country, right? If so, then you’re aware that there’s no law on the books for such vaguely defined crimes as “waging war against Allah” or “causing corruption in the land”. And certainly, crucifixion and dismemberment are not performed upon people who may be guilty of such “crimes”. But as a Muslim, you do believe those laws should be changed, right? You do think that Western countries should start crucifying and dismembering people who “cause corruption”, right? Or do you think the manmade, Western laws are superior to those of Allah?

  50. OK gang, let’s answer with a Vitor Palmer style cut and paste: “5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter
    The context of this verse itself will clear any negative perceptions against Islam. One cannot quote verse 5:33 without quoting verse 5:32 (prohibition of murder) and verse 5:34 (command to forgive). Let us examine the verse in its proper context:

    5:32-34 …If any one slew a person – unless it be as punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    There are several points to note here. The first is the gravity of the offense. This is punishment for WAGING WAR against the Prophet of God and spreading evil and destruction. In modern terminology this would be considered “terrorism”. This is a punishment for such a severe offense, hence the severity of the punishment. As Muhammad Asad writes on this verse:

    The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings. (Asad, The Message of the Qur’an)
    It is quite shocking to see how many Islam-haters will place this verse under the heading of “inciting Muslims to kill and wage war”, whereas the verse commands nothing of this sort! In fact, it comes directly after a verse prohibiting murder and likening the unjust murder of a single individual to the slaughter of humanity. The Qur’an purposefully describes the gravity of the sin before describing the punishment. The crime of murder and committing terrorist activities is regarded as such a severe violation in Islam, that a severe retribution has been prescribed. Waging war against God’s prophet is tantamount to waging war against Our Creator Himself. It is ironic that Islam-haters will present this verse to justify their claim that Islam supports terrorism, whereas Muslim scholars have always presented this verse as proof that Islam is vehemently opposed to terrorism. For example, the Islamic Fiqh Council of Saudi Arabia writes about this verse:

    Obviously, in view of the enormity of such acts of aggression, which are viewed by the Shari’ah (Islamic law) as an act of war against the laws and the creatures of God, there is no stricter punishment anywhere in the manmade laws. (Islamic Fiqh Council of Saudi Arabia, Terrorism – Islam’s viewpoint, Muslim World League Journal, Jumad al-Ula 1423/July 2002 CE)

    Is it logical to inform someone about a certain punishment without telling them about the crime? Yet, this is exactly what the enemies of Islam have done to deceive people into thinking Islam is a violent religion. They cite only verse 5:33 without verse 5:32 or verse 5:34, which brings us to our next point. God has prescribed multiple punishments in this verse using the word “or” between them, indicating various alternatives. The punishment depends on the circumstances and severity of the offence. As Muhammad F. Malik writes in his translation of this verse:

    The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Rasool and strive to create mischief in the land is death or crucifixion or the cutting off their hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land (based on the gravity of their offence)… (Malik, Al-Qur’an: Guidance for Mankind)”

  51. OK gang, let’s answer with a Vitor Palmer style cut and paste: “5:33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter
    The context of this verse itself will clear any negative perceptions against Islam. One cannot quote verse 5:33 without quoting verse 5:32 (prohibition of murder) and verse 5:34 (command to forgive). Let us examine the verse in its proper context:

    5:32-34 …If any one slew a person – unless it be as punishment for murder or for spreading corruption in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    There are several points to note here. The first is the gravity of the offense. This is punishment for WAGING WAR against the Prophet of God and spreading evil and destruction. In modern terminology this would be considered “terrorism”. This is a punishment for such a severe offense, hence the severity of the punishment. As Muhammad Asad writes on this verse:

    The present participle la-musrifun indicates their “continuously committing excesses” (i.e., crimes), and is best rendered as “they go on committing” them. In view of the preceding passages, these “excesses” obviously refer to crimes of violence and, in particular, to the ruthless killing of human beings. (Asad, The Message of the Qur’an)
    It is quite shocking to see how many Islam-haters will place this verse under the heading of “inciting Muslims to kill and wage war”, whereas the verse commands nothing of this sort! In fact, it comes directly after a verse prohibiting murder and likening the unjust murder of a single individual to the slaughter of humanity. The Qur’an purposefully describes the gravity of the sin before describing the punishment. The crime of murder and committing terrorist activities is regarded as such a severe violation in Islam, that a severe retribution has been prescribed. Waging war against God’s prophet is tantamount to waging war against Our Creator Himself. It is ironic that Islam-haters will present this verse to justify their claim that Islam supports terrorism, whereas Muslim scholars have always presented this verse as proof that Islam is vehemently opposed to terrorism. For example, the Islamic Fiqh Council of Saudi Arabia writes about this verse:

    Obviously, in view of the enormity of such acts of aggression, which are viewed by the Shari’ah (Islamic law) as an act of war against the laws and the creatures of God, there is no stricter punishment anywhere in the manmade laws. (Islamic Fiqh Council of Saudi Arabia, Terrorism – Islam’s viewpoint, Muslim World League Journal, Jumad al-Ula 1423/July 2002 CE)

    Is it logical to inform someone about a certain punishment without telling them about the crime? Yet, this is exactly what the enemies of Islam have done to deceive people into thinking Islam is a violent religion. They cite only verse 5:33 without verse 5:32 or verse 5:34, which brings us to our next point. God has prescribed multiple punishments in this verse using the word “or” between them, indicating various alternatives. The punishment depends on the circumstances and severity of the offence. As Muhammad F. Malik writes in his translation of this verse:

    The punishment for those who wage war against Allah and His Rasool and strive to create mischief in the land is death or crucifixion or the cutting off their hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land (based on the gravity of their offence)… (Malik, Al-Qur’an: Guidance for Mankind)”

  52. //One cannot quote verse 5:33 without quoting verse 5:32 (prohibition of murder)// If you’d actually bothered reading my response, you would have noticed that was the first thing I did. And the verse doesn’t forbid murder. It forbids the killing of another unless that person has “caused corruption in the land”. Furthermore, 5:32 was applicable only to the Jews. And since Allah shortly thereafter describes Jews as the “strongest enemies of Muslims” (5:82), 5:32 obviously isn’t applicable to Muslims. Of course, this doesn’t stop Muslim apologists from quoting it non-stop (and without its full context), but no matter. //This is punishment for WAGING WAR against the Prophet of God and spreading evil and destruction// But the “messenger” is long dead. Yet 5:33 still remains a part of the Quran. So “waging war against Allah” and “causing mischief in the land” are still offenses worthy of crucifixion and dismemberment. What does “waging war against Allah or making mischief in the land” mean? How could Allah have been so vague on such an incredibly important issue? Does cursing Allah’s name constitute such an offense? Does speaking ill of his “prophet”? Do non-Muslims refusing to pay the jizya and feel themselves subdued (9:29)? Who should determine what constitutes such offenses? Also, you do believe Western nations should change their laws to accommodate verses like 5:33, correct? You would recommend these nations change their laws to outlaw “waging war against Allah and making mischief in the land”, right? And making the punishment for such crimes crucifixion, deportation or dismemberment? Or do you think Western, manmade laws are superior to those of Allah? Please explain your position.

  53. Sorry, Vitor. You just don’t get it.

  54. Sorry, Vitor. You just don’t get it.

  55. I don’t get what? I don’t get why Western countries should change their laws so as to outlaw “waging war against Allah” and “causing corruption”? And I don’t get why outlawing these “crimes” and then punishing them with crucifixion is a good idea? No, I don’t get that. But you, as Muslim, obviously believe this should be done. So please explain why this is superior to the laws of Western nations, where “causing corruption” is not punished by crucifixion or dismemberment. Or are you of the opinion that manmade laws are superior to the laws of Allah?

  56. I don’t get what? I don’t get why Western countries should change their laws so as to outlaw “waging war against Allah” and “causing corruption”? And I don’t get why outlawing these “crimes” and then punishing them with crucifixion is a good idea? No, I don’t get that. But you, as Muslim, obviously believe this should be done. So please explain why this is superior to the laws of Western nations, where “causing corruption” is not punished by crucifixion or dismemberment. Or are you of the opinion that manmade laws are superior to the laws of Allah?

  57. Vitor Palmer I don’t get what? I don’t get why Western countries should change their laws so as to outlaw “waging war against Allah” and “causing corruption”? (Huh? Who exactly is doing that and what are they saying? Please supply names, dates and quotes.). And I don’t get why outlawing these “crimes” and then punishing them with crucifixion is a good idea? No, I don’t get that. (and I don’t get what you are talking about). But you, as Muslim, obviously believe this should be done. (What, specifically? What “this” are you referring to, and how do you work out that every Muslim is in agreement with “it”- whatever it is?) So please explain why this is superior to the laws of Western nations, where “causing corruption” is not punished by crucifixion or dismemberment. (Huh?) Or are you of the opinion that manmade laws are superior to the laws of Allah? (When was the last time you heard of somebody being dismembered or crucified for causing corruption in an Islamic or any other country, and how did you conclude that we all think this is “God’s law”. If we did, and we’re all in agreement on that point, wouldn’t there be a whole lot of crucifixions going on all over the world? Moreover, given the amount of corruption in third world countries, (and most Islamic countries are third world), why aren’t there more one-handed politicians around? Oh well, I guess you think you are making perfect sense XD

  58. Vitor Palmer I don’t get what? I don’t get why Western countries should change their laws so as to outlaw “waging war against Allah” and “causing corruption”? (Huh? Who exactly is doing that and what are they saying? Please supply names, dates and quotes.). And I don’t get why outlawing these “crimes” and then punishing them with crucifixion is a good idea? No, I don’t get that. (and I don’t get what you are talking about). But you, as Muslim, obviously believe this should be done. (What, specifically? What “this” are you referring to, and how do you work out that every Muslim is in agreement with “it”- whatever it is?) So please explain why this is superior to the laws of Western nations, where “causing corruption” is not punished by crucifixion or dismemberment. (Huh?) Or are you of the opinion that manmade laws are superior to the laws of Allah? (When was the last time you heard of somebody being dismembered or crucified for causing corruption in an Islamic or any other country, and how did you conclude that we all think this is “God’s law”. If we did, and we’re all in agreement on that point, wouldn’t there be a whole lot of crucifixions going on all over the world? Moreover, given the amount of corruption in third world countries, (and most Islamic countries are third world), why aren’t there more one-handed politicians around? Oh well, I guess you think you are making perfect sense XD

  59. Vitor

    Inthe Quran it says to follow the law of the land you live in. If the muslims you speak of dont comply is it my fault as a muslim?

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>