T Thomas wrings his hands in the Business Standard of India over the widespread misunderstanding of Islam: not those committing violence in the name of Islam, mind you, but those who have the audacity to think that Islam may have something to do with inciting violence as a result.
We need to ask, is Islam perhaps a much-misunderstood religion. The 1993 bomb blasts, following the demolition of Babri Masjid, and the more recent July 2006 bomb blasts in Mumbai’s suburban trains have led many people in India to equate aspects of Islam with terrorism. The September 11, 2001, incident in New York turned most of the Western world to that way of thinking. Yet Prophet Mohammed never propagated violence while imparting his teachings. He urged his followers to fast and pray and to give a part of their wealth to charity. Many Muslims carry out these obligations very diligently even today. Muslims revere Jesus Christ as a prophet. According to Islam, Jesus did not die on the Cross and it will be Christ who will return on Judgment Day. In spite of this acknowledgement of Christ in Islam, the Christian West is more anti-Islam than even the Hindus of India, who suffered under Islam for five centuries.
“Prophet Mohammed never propagated violence while imparting his teachings.” Except when he did. Get the whole story in my new book, The Truth About Muhammad. A couple of ahadith that T Thomas may have missed:
Anas said, “Some people of ‘Ukl or ‘Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, They were put in ‘Al-Harra’ and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.” Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle .”
It has been reported from Sulaiman b. Buraid through his father that when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) appointed anyone as leader of an army or detachment he would especially exhort him to fear Allah and to be good to the Muslims who were with him. He would say: Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war, do not embezzle the spoils; do not break your pledge; and do not mutilate (the dead) bodies; do not kill the children. When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.
There are many, many others like that. You’ll find them in the book.