“They expressed ‘shock and utter disgust’ at Saturday’s ‘cold-blooded murders,’ and said the actions of the attackers ‘alienates them from any association with our community for whom the inviolability of every human life is the founding principle (Q.5:32).'”
Shock? Really? The last thing anyone should be is shocked, especially an imam who knows full well the incitements to violence that are contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah. They may be disgusted, but shocked? After 30,000 jihad attacks worldwide committed in the name of Islam and in accord with its teaching? That strains credulity.
Likewise straining credulity is their claim that the “inviolability of every human life is the founding principle” of the Islamic community, and their citation of Qur’an 5:32 to support this claim. This is one of the most oft-quoted verses of the Qur’an, the one that non-Muslim leaders refer to most frequently when claiming that Islam is a religion of peace:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption 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, after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (v. 32)
There is less to this than Western leaders and Islamic apologists claim. First, note that it is not a general prohibition of killing — there are big exceptions for those who kill “for a soul or for corruption in the land.” Second, this is not a general command, but one only for the Children of Israel. Third, “many of them, after that … were transgressors” — so all it is really saying is that Allah gave a command to the Children of Israel and they transgressed against it.
(Meanwhile, some Islamic authorities interpret this passage in a supremacist manner, as applying only to Muslims: Sa’id bin Jubayr explains: “He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.”)
Never mentioned by the many who quote this verse as if it condemns Islamic jihad violence are the caveats above. Nor do they mention that it is followed by 5:33, which specifies the punishment for the corruption and transgressions of the Children of Israel: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth 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.”
Thus this passage is explaining what must be done with Jews who reject Muhammad, not dictating lofty moral principles. Ibn Warraq sums it up: “The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. ‘Behave, or else’ is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished!”
These 130 imams know all this. Yet they still invoke Qur’an 5:32 in a misleading way. It casts doubts upon their honesty.
“130 British imams refuse to perform funerals for London, Manchester attackers,” by Haley Joelle Ott, CBS News, June 6, 2017:
Over 130 imams from across the United Kingdom have said they will refuse to perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the London and Manchester terror attackers. The ritual is normally carried out for every Muslim, regardless of their actions.
In what is a highly unusual move, Muslim religious leaders from different schools of Islam — both Sunni and Shia — issued a statement late Monday saying their pain at the suffering of the victims of Saturday’s attacks had led to their decision, and they called on others imams to follow suit.
“We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers who seek to gain religious legitimacy for their actions. We seek to clarify that their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy,” the statement put out by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella body representing over 500 organizations, read.
“Consequently, and in light of other such ethical principles which are quintessential to Islam, we will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege. This is because such indefensible actions are completely at odds with the lofty teachings of Islam,” the statement continued.
They expressed “shock and utter disgust” at Saturday’s “cold-blooded murders,” and said the actions of the attackers “alienates them from any association with our community for whom the inviolability of every human life is the founding principle (Q.5:32).”…