Why Islam allows kafir unbelievers to be killed

IS terrorists have been murdering in Iraq and Syria for years. In their caliphate there are laws that can hardly be surpassed in cruelty.

The mass killings, beheadings and mutilations are justified with references to the Koran - which leaves room for interpretation.

jihad and suicide bombings

IS terrorists have been murdering in Iraq and Syria for years. In their caliphate there are laws that can hardly be surpassed in cruelty. The mass killings, beheadings and mutilations are justified with references to the Koran - which leaves room for interpretation.

by werner menner

Munich - The statement that the theologian Hans Küng, who also excelled as the author of a standard work on Islam, once made is sober: “Since there have been people, there has been religion and violence. There has never been a non-violent paradise society ”. So not in Islam either. But - and this is the crucial question - do the Koran and Islam actually justify killing?

The Turkish writer Zafer Senocak speaks for many when he claims: “Even if most Muslims do not want to admit it, terror comes from the heart of Islam, it comes straight from the Koran. And it is directed against everyone who does not live and act according to the rules of the Koran. "

In fact, it says: "Watch out, you unbelievers, you will be punished in this world and the hereafter" and "Kill for your religion and fight against the unbelievers and drive out the unbelievers." As a legal justification for jihad, the "holy war" Islamists and fundamentalists prefer the “sword verse” from the 9th sura of the Koran: “And when the holy months have passed, then kill the heathen wherever you find them, seize them, surround them and lie in wait for them everywhere. “Unless they are converted, keep up the prayer, and give the alms tax. In other words, they may go their own way if they submit.

Islamic scholars agree that the Koran - which is of divine origin - must not be doubted. Content criticism is forbidden, an interpretation may only be made by Muslim scholars. According to the Koran expert Joachim Wildeis, however, an interpretation of the Koran verses "in the sense of our basic democratic order and taking into account the habits of people in the information society of the 21st century" is always possible. Islamists avoid this as much as possible. It must also be borne in mind that - according to Wildeis - "everything can be explained and refuted with the variants of the translation, the inaccuracy of every language, the reference to historical narratives and the art of linking contradicting and complementary statements of the Koran".

A prime example is the 92nd verse from the 4th sura of the Qur'an: “A believer must not kill a believer unless by mistake.” It is a two-pronged moral logic that divides people into two classes. It prevents a definitive statement or determination because two logically or morally contradicting instructions can easily be placed next to each other. Both can - depending on the situation or interpretation - claim validity for themselves. The turmoil in the Islamic world is also based on these facts.

Keyword jihad: The word means something like effort or endeavor - it means the personal struggle to lead a godly life against all temptations. The Prophet Mohammed called this "great jihad". There is also the "little jihad", the fight with weapons. And for Shiites this is only allowed in case of defense, for Sunnis it is also allowed as a preventive measure if peaceful means fail. Militant Islamists see it differently: They even interpret it as a justification for murders. According to Muhammed Sayyid Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the most recognized Sunni institution until 2010, "this clearly contradicts what has been passed down from the Prophet".

The Egyptian Islam expert and Catholic theologian Samir Khalil Samir, who teaches at universities around the world and trains imams in Beirut, also points out that “a war between fellow believers is inadmissible and unthinkable in the legal terms of Islam”. However, the ban can easily be circumvented, which IS, al-Qaeda and other self-proclaimed warriors of God take full advantage of: the opponent, it can also be an entire country, is declared to be unbelieving (Arabic: kãfir) - and that is for them Fight lawful as it is waged against enemies of the faith.

Keyword suicide bomber: In the Koran there is only a small reference to the subject of suicide, and that is also found in the 4th sura: "Do not kill yourself, because God is merciful to you." Sayings and actions of Muhammad) condemned without exception. Even ex-Al-Azhar rector Tantawi never left any doubt that suicide should be condemned.

Fundamentalists see it differently. Likewise, the dean of the University of Kuwait, Mohamed Al-Tabatabai, and the head of the Shiite community in Lebanon, Sheikh Nabulst. For them, suicide bombers are heroes who will go to paradise because they “led a real jihad”. They are martyrs - the reason for this can also be found in the Koran: "And if you are slain or die for Allah's cause, mercy from God and grace is better than everything you pile up," says the 3rd sura.

Martyrdom was redefined by Ayatollah Komeini, who made it an instrument of revolution. Under the dictatorial rule of the Shiite mullahs, it was not only a duty in Iran to fight the oppressors, although Khomeini made no distinction between Christians and Muslims. He - like later al-Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden and today the IS ideologues - was immediately at hand with the Koran: "Fight against the unbelievers until there is only Islam" (sura 2, verse 193) , “Do not hesitate to go to holy war” (Sura 9, verse 38) or “If you do not fight for God, God will punish you” (Sura 9, verse 39). If interpreted accordingly, even the most perverse atrocities can be justified. Radical Islamists prove it to us every day.