It isn't actually hard to understand at all. The Qur'an tells Muslims to fight against "the People of the Book" and subjugate them (9:29). It tells them to kill the polytheists (i.e., anyone who worships anything other than the Allah of the Qur'an) wherever they are found (9:5; cf. 2:191 and 4:89). These are not random, "cherry-picked" verses, but are part of the foundation of a developed doctrine, theology and legal system that mandates warfare against non-Muslims. A manual of Islamic law that was certified in 1991 by the clerics at Al-Azhar University, one of the leading authorities in the Islamic world, as "conforming to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni community," stipulates about jihad that the Muslim community "makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians...until they become Muslim or pay the non-Muslim poll tax” ('Umdat al-Salik, o9.8).
If this is a "perversion" of Islam, it has reached its highest levels, because that is what al-Azhar is. And there are so very many Muslim clerics worldwide who endorse the idea that Muslims must wage war against non-Muslims, as we have documented regularly here at Jihad Watch for the past ten and a half years. How is it that so many Muslim clerics endorse what O'Malley would call a perversion of the Islamic religion?
The Cardinal rightly says that no one should indulge in "hatred" or "revenge" or "prejudice against Muslims." That is absolutely true. It is unlikely that he is aware, however, that Islamic supremacist groups in the U.S. such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) consistently characterize any and every attempt to explore the roots of jihad terrorism in Islamic texts and teachings, and the ways in which jihadis use those texts and teachings to justify violence and supremacism, as a manifestation of "hatred" and "prejudice against Muslims." This needs to be clarified: that resistance against jihad and Islamic supremacism do not constitute such hatred or prejudice -- it would be refreshing to see a prominent Catholic churchman affirm that. I am not holding my breath.
"O’Malley: Don’t focus on hatred, revenge," by Christine McConville for the Boston Herald, April 22 (thanks to Kamala):
Don’t succumb to the hate that killed, maimed and traumatized so many people in Boston last week, a resolute Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley told terror-weary parishioners and public officials yesterday at a crowded Mass inside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
“We must be a people of reconciliation, not revenge,” O’Malley urged the 1,800 Mass celebrants, a group that included U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis and Boston police Superintendents William Evans and Kevin Buckley.
“The crimes of the two young men must not be the justification for prejudice against Muslims and against immigrants,” he said....
Days later, Massachusetts Institute of Technology officer Sean Collier, 26, was gunned down in his cruiser allegedly by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Chechen immigrants and Muslims who authorities say are responsible for the marathon bombings.
Hours after Collier was killed, Transit Police officer Richard Donohue, 33, was shot in a gun battle, during which Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured late Friday.
O’Malley reminded people that the brothers’ vicious hate triggered so much goodness.
“It is very difficult to understand what was going on in the young men’s minds, what demons were operative, what ideologies or politics or the perversion of their religion. It was amazing to witness, however, how much goodness and generosity were evidenced in our community as a result of the tragic events they perpetrated,” he said.
“The individualism and alienation of our age has spawned a culture of death. Over a million abortions a year is one indication of how human life has been devalued. Violent entertainment, films and video games have coarsened us and made us more insensitive to the pain and suffering of others. The inability of the Congress to enact laws that control access to automatic weapons is emblematic of the pathology of our violent culture,” O’Malley said. “I hope that the events of this past week have taught us how high the stakes are. We must build a civilization of love, or there will be no civilization at all.”