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Why Is the Islamic State Behaving This Way?

by Robert Spencer

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The Islamic State is turning into a huge public relations problem for groups like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies. For years they have insisted that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorism committed with alarming regularity in its name, and that the people responsible for linking Islam with terrorism were not Islamic jihad terrorists, but “Islamophobic” opponents of jihad terror. But then comes along a group calling itself The Islamic State, committing unimaginable atrocities and presenting each one as an authentic embodiment of Islamic texts and teachings, and the deception campaign at which CAIR officials have labored so assiduously for so many years, and with such great success, is in danger of crashing around their uneasy necks.

Take, for example, the recent revelation that, according to the UN News Centre, “some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.” A similar kidnapping by Islamic jihadists in Nigeria recently horrified the world, but much overlooked was the fact that such behavior is sanctioned by the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6)….

…The Quran says “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) – a verse much beloved of Western non-Muslim multiculturalists, but it also says that Muslims must fight unbelievers until “religion is all for Allah” (8:39). And it insists that Muslims should “slay them” wherever they’re found (cf. 2:191; 4:89; 9:5).

It also says that Muslims must fight against the “People of the Book” – Jews, Christians, and others who are considered to have received previous revelations from Allah – until they “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). That option of submission and subjugation, however, is not open to groups that have no written revelation that could qualify them for “People of the Book” status. Hence for the Yazidis, to convert or die are the only Qur’anic options open for them.

The Islamic State’s actions are an open book, and that book is the Qur’an. American Muslim spokesmen would do well to explain how they are misinterpreting the Islamic holy books, but claims to that effect have been vague and short of references to problematic passages. As long as that refusal to confront the problem continues, so will the killing.

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