Originally Posted by Tim Spiess on 02/08/2015, Revised August 2016
Islam is a major world religion with over one billion adherents. Islam’s main figure or original proclaimer is Muhammad, who lived about 600 A.D. The name Muslims give to their God is Allah. Islam’s main source or standard for knowing Allah and what he wants from his people is Muhammed and his writings in their holy book, the Quran. The same can be said of Jews who look to Moses’ teachings in the Torah, or Christians who look to Paul’s teachings in the new testament (or some of ‘Christ's’ lesser teachings when it supports their life in the world) or the Hebrew scripture or Old Testament.
Islam is gaining a lot of attention these days due to certain Muslims who believe it is their duty to spread Islam through any means possible, including force and violence. These Muslims are obviously very sincere in their belief that their God Allah is pleased with them as they try and force others to 'submit to Allah' and killing non-Muslims or "infidels" who will not ‘convert’ to Islam.
The key question that must be answered is, what basis do these people have to believe that and thus justify using violence to spread their religion?
If there is no basis for this belief except a new, temporary word-of-mouth teaching or recent fad religious philosophy, or a newer Islamic leader or two, then there is hope this teaching will die sooner than later. But if there is some permanent source as a part of Islam that is the cause for certain Muslims to use force and violence to get people to submit to Allah, then that is a dangerous problem. Either way, no headway can be made in solving the problem until basic questions like this are answered and widely known.
The vast majority of people, including the world mass media news outlets, are very confused about this important issue and regularly omit certain facts that would help identify the problem. Unfortunately, they are confused, or constrained from communicating the facts about Islam do to two primary reasons. First, just plain ignorance of Islam’s teachings. Second, a wrong belief that is held by many millions – perhaps billions - of people. Here is an example of the error and confusion they foster.
Let’s say there was a certain disease that was fairly easily spread to other people. This disease was very deadly – it would not kill all the people it infected, but it would kill a high percentage. Let’s say this diseases had a known cause and certain symptoms by which it could be identified. It was very important that people know this disease well - its capacity to kill humans as well as ways to identify it so it could be contained when it was identified. So, the medical community decided on a name for the disease, Ebola, and they clearly defined its cause and symptoms. Clarity on a name and knowing the disease by the name was critical in communicating effectively in combating the disease.
Likewise, knowing the cause and the symptoms and communicating facts about those things would be critical in effectively battling the disease. How would people react if the world’s press and mass media refused to use the name “Ebola” to identify and communicate about his dangerous disease? Instead of calling it “Ebola”, they used terms like, “dangerous disease” and “extremist disease” and “highly infectious disease” and “terror disease”. And what if the world news people would exclusively communicate using vague, confusing and contradictory statements regarding the diseases' cause and symptoms? For example, what if the disease was caused by a virus that could be spread by air transmission, and yet the mass media said it could only be spread by direct physical contact? Would wrong and confusing communication about the disease hinder in containing and combating the disease? Of course it would.
The same is true with some of aspects of Islam.
This issue is really quite simple if you are not biased against addressing “religion” as you would address any other issue. People are fond of saying something like, ‘this issue is very complicated’. That would only be true if you deny certain realities or have beliefs that obscure the issue. Unfortunately, there is a very strong belief in the world that says you cannot criticize a person’s religion. Or, stated another way, to criticize a religious belief or to examine a religious figure's God-beliefs is to be an ‘intolerant person’, or worse yet, a person who ‘hates’. This belief is wrong and obscures the issue - please see What it means to be a truly tolerant person?.
In general, people are so sensitive – and thus defensive – about their religious beliefs because they are very insecure about those beliefs due to not really understanding what they believe. They do this because people at some level believe that what they believe about God might well affect their existence either in this life or a life to come. People don’t want to be shown they are ignorant or hold contradictory beliefs about anything, especially about basic questions of life and death or understanding of their existence, and so they are very quick to get defensive about that topic. They particularly don’t want to be shown something they look to – their religion, for example – has wrong or bad elements in it. They just don’t want to ‘go there’ because they don’t want to examine the foundation of their basic existential beliefs…it is simply too scary (or they have too much pride) to consider ‘I am wrong’ or ‘I am living for the wrong reasons’ or at a shallower level that ‘some aspects of my religion are wrong’...the fundamental problem of human pride or fear won't allow that.
Muslims are like any other religious people in that most Muslims don’t actually know well what their sources or standards for their religion say or claim. For example, most Muslims have never read through the entire Quran, just like most Christians have never read through the entire bible or most Jews have never read through the entire Tanakh. Furthermore, it is one thing to read through a book, and quite another to sincerely and seriously contemplate, consider or try hard to understand all the facts or claims in that book.
So, let us get to the crux of the matter regarding Islam and the Muslims who use force and violence to get people to submit to 'Allah'. As I said earlier, the question that desperately needs to be asked and answered is, “is there a basis in Islam’s basic sources or standards for knowing Allah's will that justifies Muslims in using violence to achieve Allah’s goals?” The simple and truthful answer is yes. What is that basis?
The basis is some of the teachings of Muhammad in the Quran.
Here are some quotes of Muhammad from the Quran (my clarification comments are in parenthesis and italics):
Quran 4:74 - "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward."
Quran 4:76 - "Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…"
Quran 8:12 - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them".
Quran 8:67 - "It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land..."
Quran 9:5 - "So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters (those who don’t believe Allah is God) wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them."
Quran 9:14 - "Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people."
Quran 9:29 - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth (Islam), (even if they are) of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya (religious tax) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."
Quran 9:30 - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"
Quran 9:73 - "O Prophet! strive hard against (jihad) the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination."
Quran 9:123 - "O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness."
Quran 47:3-4 - "Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord... So, when you meet (and fight Jihad in Allah's Cause) those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them , then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)... If it had been Allah's Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah (in battle against those who disbelieve Allah, the "infidels"), He will never let their deeds be lost."
Quran 48:29 - "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves."
Quran 61:4, 61:9 - "Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way"…"He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels (non-Muslims) may resist."
Quran 66:9 - "O Prophet! Strive against (jihad) the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end."
[For a fuller review of the over 100 sayings and teachings of Muhammad that advocate violence against non-Muslims, see http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm My referencing that web page does not mean I agree with all the content on that web site. On the page that I reference, the author has done a good job in identifying the verses of violence and provides resources that rightly argue that it is unreasonable to believe that some Muslims will not consider those saying relevant today.]
The first reaction of many who hear or read these saying of Mohammad is some form of disbelief expressed in some form of, ‘oh, it can’t mean that’.
Well, sadly, it does mean that...Muhammad meant what he said and those saying mean what they say, all the 'scholarly' attempts to explain-them-away notwithstanding.
Of course those who would rather not accept the fact Muhammad advocated violence to somehow advance Islam will find many different ways to explain these sayings away. The phrase and concept of ‘historical context’ is often used to try and explain away those sayings. While it is true that all human language and behavior have some ‘historical context’ in which they are (or were) expressed, most people who believe God exists agree that moral principles given by an eternal, perfect and thus unchanging God would not be bound by some historical context, but would be absolute. So, for example, if God allegedly said 4,000 years ago through one of his ‘prophets’, “My people ought to punish those who lie for personal gain”, that moral rule would not be bound by the historical context it was given in nor the culture it was given in. Theists rightly argue that if God is perfect, he would not change. Therefore, his view on morality, lying and punishment would not change either.
In any case, you will get many, many words from Islamic ‘scholars’ and leaders who will attempt to convince you that these saying of Muhammad somehow do not advocate violence against non-Muslims. They might throw several Quran versions or translations at you and equivocate about words, but the spirit of what Muhammed taught is unavoidable, and given the behavior and words of millions of Muslims, those millions are not listening to contemporary scholars who attempt to explain away Muhammad's violent sayings. Instead, these many millions are getting the spirit of what Muhammed taught in those sayings quoted above as well as others which reinforce the concept of 'jihad against infidels'. Please see the facts listed under the "Terror Attacks" menu item at www.thereligionofpeace.com here to back up this claim.
Once again, just because millions of Muslims are ignorant of Muhammad’s teachings of force, subjugation and violence against non-Muslims or even other Muslims they disagree with; or because millions choose to listen to the ‘scholars’ or Islamic leaders who try to hide the violent sayings of Muhammed; does not nullify the fact that many Muslims reasonably take Muhammad's teachings at face value…they read the sayings in context and conclude that Muhammad means what he says and that Allah has not changed his nature and thus wishes his people to use force and violence (jihad) against those who will not submit to Allah.
The label 'terrorist' is a very popular label used for Muslims who are relying upon Muhammad’s teachings of jihad in order to do Allah’s will. This is ignorance of the highest order, or it is purposeful obfuscation (meaning to purposely obscure or hide something). It is the epitome of the foolishness of the Ebola example given above…it is political correctness that does actual harm. No one is helped by the use of the foolish term ‘terrorist’.
A common murderer instills terror in his victim therefore he should be called a “terrorist”. A thief with a gun who points the gun at his victim is instilling terror in the victim, and thus should be called a “terrorist”. The husband who abuses his wife instills terror in his wife before one of his attacks, and thus should be called a “terrorist”.
The usage of the term “terrorist” towards those who openly profess their motivation (to do Allah’s will) for their violent acts hinders the ability to solve the problem and actually assists those who perform the violent acts by hiding the cause. Said another way, if people were consistent, every perpetrator of unjustified violent acts (non-defensive in nature) should be called a "terrorist", but this is not what is happening. Rather, a certain group of people who have a very specific motivation for their violent attacks are labeled "terrorists", thus purposely having the motivation obscured, confused or hidden. This, even when motivation is everything regarding solving crimes, destructive behavior or problems of violence. And this, even when the perpetrators of the violence speak plainly their motivation to serve Allah through jihad - they shout 'Allah Akbar' (meaning Allah is great) as they blow up women and children. The behavior of the press to obscure the motivation for violent jihadist attacks is due to the politically correct but irrational belief that one cannot criticize a religion.
Thus, all those who use terms like ‘terrorist’ to describe Muslims who are acting upon Muhammad's teachings of violence are culpable for hiding the problem. This includes MOST in the 'news business'. To a few in the news business' credit, I do hear the phrase "Muslim jihadists" used a bit more often, but still very rarely.'Extremists'
Most high level politicians around the world like to characterize violence perpetrated by Muslims who are obeying Muhammad’s sayings regarding using force and violence to advance Islam, as “extremism”. "Extreme" implies a continuum or degrees, from one form of the same thing to another. For example, a person who enjoys sweets could have different degrees of satisfying that 'like'. The person who eats only a few sweet things per day (normalist) versus a person who eats many sweet things per day (extremist)...the main point that must be understood is that the fundamental thing being judged - the enjoyment or liking of consuming sweet things - hasn't changed. In like manner, to use the term "Muslim Extremist" to describe Muslims who use violence to spread their religion, would imply that hatred (the motivation that often leads to unjustified violence) is part of Islam, and those who are "extreme" (have a lot of hatred) practice violence, while those who do not practice violence are somehow less extreme (have less hatred). However, hatred is always a wrong motivation whether violence is manifest or not. Therefore using the term "extremist" only confuses people regarding this issue.
It is yet another way to avoid the simple truth that Muslims motivated by some of Muhammad’s teachings are perpetrating violent deeds. The false belief (often motivated by cowardice) that one cannot criticize a person’s religion (a belief founded on the false belief of moral relativism) is the cause of this error. Instead of pronouncing the fact that some of Muhammad’s teachings advocate violence, the term “extremists” is used instead to avoid offending non-violent Muslims and those who say judging a religion or a religious figure is wrong. This error is very damaging in two respects.
First, it hides the cause of the violence, and if the cause cannot be identified, then neither can a solution be identified. “Extremism” is not the problem, rather Muslims who live out Muhammad’s teachings of force and violence are the problem. The term “extremists” is a very foolish term to use to describe self-professed followers of Muhammad who perpetrate violence based on Muhammad’s teachings. Why not use “violence-ists” or “Muhammad's murderers” or “Muhammad-ists”, for those terms clearly convey or describe the root cause, or the negative affect, of the problem.
Second, it provides a bridge to condemn people who have beliefs or views that are different than popularly held beliefs. In other words, it is a powerful way to label and condemn those you disagree with - and that is exactly what is happening in the U.S. as far-leftist's are calling conservatives "extremists".
If you associate the term “extremist” or “extremism” with people of violence, then anytime you label a person with that term – even if they are not violent – that person or idea will likely be feared. For example, if a person believes that capitalism has morally wrong aspects to it – even though that person does not advocate force or violence and believes that violence is wrong - if that person is branded an ‘extremist’ by the 'faithful capitalists', his person or his views are likely to be feared and rejected as the majority say, “Oh, he has extreme views…”
The fact is that the term “extremist” will be used to condemn peaceful people who merely have beliefs that will be labeled as “extreme” by the normalists and moral relativists who fear that which is different and who fear change that might interfere with their way of life - including wrong ways of life. In truth, the only THING (NOT GROUPS OF PEOPLE) that ought to be considered “extreme” in this context and in a negative sense is using unjustified violence - violence not truly defensive in nature - against other humans, no matter what political or religious ideology is used to justify it.
Those who defend Islam like to use terms like, “Islamophobia”, which means ‘those who fear Islam’. It is very similar to the use of the term “homophobia” by homosexuals, which means those afraid of homosexuals. So, it is very popular to stick “’phobia”, the Greek term for fear, onto something I want to defend against those who disagree with me. After all, since people have a very serious problem with pride, not many will admit they are afraid of anything, thus for one person to say, ‘you are afraid of this’, immediately and naturally elicits a defensive ‘no I am not’ response. In other words, humans have the deeper understanding that being afraid is oftentimes a sign of insecurity or an indication of ignorance I am unwilling to admit. Thus, some who defend Islam will call those who are afraid of Muslims who perpetrate violence as “Islamophobic”. This is a clever (and fallacious way - the fallacy called 'the loaded label') way to divert attention away from the simple truth that some Muslims – not ‘terrorists’ or 'extremists' or 'Islamophobics' - are violent or use violence to advance what they believe is their god's will...and furthermore, that is it reasonable to be afraid of violent people!
To deny this is irrational and thus the denial should be rejected.
It is reasonable for people to be afraid of people who want to force them – at the threat of harm, loss, subjugation or violence – to believe something about God that they do not believe. Muslims who take the violent teachings of Muhammad at face value and seek to carry them out, will use violence to achieve their ends. Thus, it is reasonable for people who encounter people who are trying to do what Muhammad says, to expect them to use violence.
If you are a Muslim you ought to learn enough about your religion to know the simple truth that some of Muhammad's teachings can reasonably be taken to justify violence against non-Muslims...some of those quotes are above. And upon learning that, you need to make some important decisions, the most important of which is answering the question, 'was Muhammad truly a prophet of God?' or at least, 'was Muhammad right about everything?'. At a minimum - if you have a conscience left and a bit of courage - you ought to get other Muslims to agree that those teachings are wrong and do not come from God.
Again, most Muslims have never read the Quran or have never read all of the Quran or have never done so seriously with genuine and deep interest. Rather - and like their religious brethren of Christians or Jews or other religions - they just go to their religious building (in Muslims case, the Mosque) to have their religious leadership tell them they are accepted by God, and have the Mosque (or church or synagogue) be either the center or part of their social life. They have never seriously studied or looked into the sayings of Muhammed, but rather just listen to their leaders tell them what THEY think Muhammad taught. The majority of Muslims are not that serious about God or their religion (just like their Christian or Jewish or other religion counterparts), they merely want to believe that they are going to heaven when they die or that they have God’s protection or blessings while in this life.
The majority of people who take the label Muslim – like their religious counterparts - generally live for the things the world considers valuable like most other humans on the planet, and are not naturally predisposed to violence any more than any other persons. This does NOT mean that the source of their religion – Muhammad and some of his teachings in the Quran – do not advocate or support violent behavior, for as we have seen, he does. It simply means that the majority of Muslims are either ignorant of those teachings of Muhammed, or they explain away those teachings – or have them explained away by their ‘scholars’ – as not relevant or applicable for today or 'these circumstances'.
Of course, the question should be asked, why was violence against non-hostile, non-Muslims acceptable at any point in history? Self-defense against people initiating violence against you for no good reason is understandable and justifiable. Using violence or the threat of violence or harm or subjugation to "convert" others to Islam - which is in fact the context of most of Muhammad's jihad teachings of violence - should NEVER have been acceptable for ANY reason or at ANY time.
The Charlie Hebdo Incident in France
Insulting people - even for things they believe or do that are wrong - is a wrong way to communicate…it does not lead to solving problems. Making fun of things people consider important or special or sacred, is generally born of arrogance or uncontrolled frustration, neither of which is justifiable. Thus, it was and is wrong for anyone to make fun of, mock, ‘satirize’, etc. religious figures that people consider important, especially deceased ones for they cannot defend themselves nor respond to the verbal assault.
There is no good that comes out of insulting others, whether dead or alive, whether religious or not. It is ok and critically important to evaluate teachings and/or beliefs, but it is not ok to insult (make some negative personal comment about) someone. If the people at Charlie Hebdo really understand the problem of Muhammad’s teachings advocating violence; and if they really wanted to try and solve that problem; here is what they should do. They should simply print those teaching of Muhammad in a clear and concise way, properly attribute them to Muhammad, and comment in a sincere, non-sarcastic way.
If those at Charlie Hebdo – and ALL THE OTHER people on the earth who are in positions to print things people read - would do this, then there would be hope that violence perpetrated by those motivated by Muhammad’s teachings advocating violence, would end someday. Insulting a major religious figure by mocking or personal insults merely inflames anger and resentment and that will merely lead to more anger and hatred. Quoting him, on the other hand, cannot reasonably be construed as ‘attacking’ or 'insulting' him.
Many political leaders like to use the phrase, “hijacking Islam” in reference to the Muslims who call for force and violence against non-Muslims. Their belief is that 'Islam is a religion of peace and these jihadist guys are 'hijacking' a religion for their own purposes'. The characterization or concept of 'hijacking Islam' is erroneous for the following reason.
Muhammad himself – the one Muslims call The Prophet and Messenger of Allah - calls for force and violence to be used against non-Muslims and 'unfaithful Muslims' as his quotes in this article proves.
Just because many who take the label Muslim - and who are either ignorant of those teachings of Muhammad or who listen to those who explain away his teachings of force and violence – rightly reject violence due to their conscience, does not mean it is unreasonable that other Muslims will take those sayings of Muhammad’s seriously. The phrase and concept of “hijacking Islam” is another way to confuse and obfuscate the issue. The simple truth is that, due to some of Muhammad’s teachings, Islam can be for some sincere Muslims, a religion that advocates and motivates and justifies the use of force and violence against others.
'True Islam'?Many sincere Muslim leaders respond to the current situation described in this article with something like, 'Well, those terrorists do not represent true Islam, rather we and our Imam or Ayatollah or Caliph represent true Islam'. Well, obviously that claim is opinion only, with no large-scale adherence that that belief. In other words, there would be hundreds if not thousands of Muslim sects and their leaders that say the same thing...that THEY represent "true Islam". And, of course they would be like their religious brethren (Christians and Jews) all over the world who disagree and divide over the same things..."WE are the ones who represent TRUE Judaism or TRUE Christianity or the TRUE God", etc. Of course, a main difference is that there are no Christian nor Jewish sects who are killing non-Christians or non-Jews for some allegedly God-based reason.
So, What is the Solution to this Terrible Problem?
The solution is two fold at two distinct levels.
The first and highest level solution is for Muslims to turn away from Muhammad and instead listen to the Light of the world who advocates love and peace and rightness among human beings. Read the four gospels or this web site to point you to this highest level solution...humans have always desperately needed good leadership. Well, the Creator provided a Leader, and yet the world goes on ignoring him and substituting their leaders, and if you have eyes to see, you can see how well that is working out.
The second or lower level solution has three components.
First, non-Muslim people must clearly recognize Islam for what it is...a body of teachings given by Muhammad, which body of teachings includes teachings advocating and justifying the use of force and violence to advance Islam's kingdom of god. This article deals with some of the many ways that people use to avoided that simple truth. Until people can see that simple truth, nothing will change and things will likely only get worse.
Second, Muslims must reach the place of understanding that their prophet has some teachings that advocate force and violence (and thus true hatred) towards non-Muslims (and in many cases against other Muslims). Until they can see this, they will never be able to seriously consider the possibility that Muhammad did not always speak for God, nor will they work on correcting that.
Third and least, Muslims who believe that Islam does not advocate forced conversions and violence need to convince other Muslims of their view, aggressively and actively. This does not appear to be happening on any large scale at this time. Of course this will not be very effective when all it takes is one Imam or Caliph or Ayatollah quoting Muhammad's verses of violence to counter the other guy denying jihad or changing jihad's meaning to something metaphorical.
Here is the problem from another perspective.
The world contains over one billion Muslims. Probably about ninety percent of those Muslims are ignorant of Muhammad's verses of violence or deny they exist. This group does not practice force or violence to convert others to Islam. They are much like any other person of the world, where their religion is only a minor part of their daily thoughts or activities. Let us say that another five percent - or fifty million Muslims, are aware of Muhammad's verses of violence, and have not made up their mind about them and remain people who don't practice violence. Therefore, that would leave about fifty million Muslims who might be inclined towards using force and/or violence to advance Islam. Not all those fifty million Muslims are actively practicing violence, but that group represents those Muslims who are aware of those saying of Muhammed; who don't explain them away as not applying to the current time and thus are sympathetic, supportive, inclined to help, helping or perpetrating acts of force and/or violence to advance Islam. This is a big problem for the people of the world, because some portion of the other ninety-five percent of the world's Muslims could be swayed to their prophets sayings of jihad, force and violence given the right circumstances.
Fortunately the Creator gave human beings a conscience, and that conscience does naturally point people away from the unjust use of force. That is why the majority of Muslims – if they are aware of the teachings of Muhammad that advocate violence – find a way to believe those sayings 'don't mean that'. However, the human conscience can easily be swayed especially by religious claims or beliefs about heaven or hell...this is why people, in the name of Allah, strap bombs to their bodies and kill innocent people.
Any Muslim who is unwilling to openly profess that those sayings of Muhammad are wrong, and that Allah does not want the use of violence to advance Islam, should be considered dangerous and a threat to other human beings. If a person is looking for a cancer in humanity, look no further than Muhammad's teachings of violence in 'god's name'. Like the Light of the world said, you will know a person by their fruits or their behavior. The fruit does not get anymore rotten than killing innocent people and those who do not believe Allah or Mohammad - including women and children who might have a husband or father or brother who is an "infidel", "kafir", "apostate", "unbeliever" or "trader" - in the name of Allah.
For the reader who is frightened by what is happening in the world regarding Muhammadist's violence toward "the infidels", the solution is to place your faith in the Real Creator’s Messenger - the appointed Leader of mankind - who says, “love even those who make themselves your enemies” and “treat others the way you want to be treated”...the only One who is and offers forgiveness, love and eternal Life. He didn't just say those things, he did them and proved that all he said and did was true by defeating death itself. Muhammad, nor any other person in history did that - only the Light of the world.
On an individual level, our after death destiny will be determined by what we did with Joshua of Nazareth and his teachings. And of course, if we lived by the darkness of violence, then so likely will our end be in this life as well as our experience after we leave our bodies - see Our Chosen Destiny. Furthermore, if it is true that God allows us to set our after-death destiny by our choices in this life, then know this - the Judge will evaluate this one thing, "how well did you listen to me...how well did you love other people like I asked"? And no, dear reader, a person acting out of love will NEVER FORCE anyone to accept something about God, nor will they EVER use violence to achieve their ends.
On a collective level, all of humanities self-created problems would be solved if we listened to the right leader, and there is only One Right Leader appointed by the Creator...browse this web site to find out who he is and what he wants. Unlike Muhammad, the Creator's appointed Leader never teaches to use violence or force to get people to believe him. Sadly, Muslims are taught to make the true Light into something less than he himself says he is...[text version of the video which demonstrates that what Muslims are taught about Joshua of Nazareth is false.]