Pay, convert or die. Muslims, do you believe this?

Very recently it has come to light that ISIS is taking over Christian homes and Churches in Syria and Iraq. The message they have written on the walls is “Pay, convert (to Islam) or die”.

I do not know Islam well enough to know whether this is an extremist view or the standard Muslim position. Can a Muslim please help me here?

Thank you.

Both the Koran and the Hadith teach that Muslims have the sanction to kill and mame non-Muslims and that this comes directly from their god. See Surah 9:14; Surah 8:13-17 etc.

Islam, as Christians do not understand, is a political, religious, and economic system which is comprehensive in its scope. There is no “kingdom of heaven” in an already-not yet kind of way like Christianity. The kingdom of Allah is here and now, and every Muslim is under obligation to help build it here on earth, including by force of arms.

I know that some Muslims have taken the position that such policies, while appropriate in past centuries, no longer make sense in the modern world. I suppose it is not up to us to say whether such moderate interpretations of Islam are “truly Muslim” or not. The truth is that Islam is in the midst of a very complex internal war, fighting for the very meaning of their religion, with the West and Russia picking sides according to what we perceive as our nations’ interests.

Muhammad said that Muslims have a duty to force conversion or kill those who won’t (as stated above). Since Muslims believe that he was both the perfect man and the final prophet of God, there is no way they can logically claim that things have changed since Muhammad. Therefore, in order to be a faithful Muslim, you have to submit to that teaching.

While it’s true that Christianity has dispensed with many of the societal Levitical laws (similar to what some modern Muslims claim they are doing), the difference is that those laws have passed away because of the coming of Christ. Islam has nothing they can point to for these changes beyond “Hey, these just don’t apply anymore, for X reason” Since making that claim would show that Muhammad is not the “perfect man” (since the perfect man would not support something that is wrong, regardless of the societal norms), you cannot make the claim that that law no longer applies while still maintaining key components of Islam.

Personally, I think Islam is rotten to the core. Muslims can be good, but only by virtue of aspects of their faith that align with the teachings of Christ, and by virtue of the natural law, which is inscribed on everyone’s hearts.

I totally agree with you Prodg1Architect.

:thumbsup::signofcross:

The Qur’an/hadith teaches that the Ahl al-Kitab (people of the book) living in a muslim country do not have to convert to Islam but if they don’t they have to pay the jizya tax.

This has led to some interesting things. In parts of northern Africa the rulers actively discouraged people from becoming muslim because every convert was another taxpayer gone. A muslim state cannot legitimately tax their muslim populations except for expecting them to pay zakat (donation to support the poor) Of course eventually the vast majority of people converted anyways because it was the thing to do. Once they converted jizya stopped being required but zakat was.

The jizya is legitimized because non-Muslims do not otherwise contribute to a Muslim state. For example, a non-Muslim is not subject to a draft in a Muslim state.

Non people of the book generally either are to be forcibly converted or enslaved.

And never forget about taqiyah - which is lying to further the Muslim cause. Due to the fact that their “religion” allows and ENCOURAGES deception, one can never believe anything said by a Muslim.

Taqiyya is the belief that you don’t have to die for your faith if you don’t want to. If you are being target because of your faith (usually by another muslim sect) you can claim to be something that you are not. It is only supported in shariah in cases where you are going to be killed for your belief. Early Christians had to debate this same issue. If a person forsook their faith rather than be martyred were they still able to be Christians? Christians decided to be a lot harder on these people than Muslims did.

Of course in the modern era people are trying to expand taqiyya but it isn’t what most muslims would understand as taqiyya and isn’t supported by shariah…

I don’t think many muslims make it a habit to visit CAF. It will be interesting to see if any muslims respond.

Wow, what an eye-opening thread. I had no idea mainstream Muslims believed these things. :eek: I thought there was just a fringe group of extremists that believed in these things and gave the rest of Islam a bad name. Whoa.

I’ve known many Muslims, and I consider several to be good friends. None of them fit the descriptions above, and none of them would talk about anyone in those sorts of terms.

Speaking in those offensive and quite frankly, disgusting generalities (you can never believe anything a Muslim says/Muslims can only be good by virtue of their religion’s relationship to Christianity) says far more about the people making those statements than it does about the Muslims that are being disparaged.

One of my favorite social activists is a Muslim. She dedicates her life to trying to prevent people from killing each other. (Ameena Mathews) uic.edu/depts/ccsb/ameena-matthews.html

There are a lot of household names that are also Muslims: Shaquille O’Neal, Fareed Zakaria (doesn’t consider himself religious these days), Dave Chappelle, Lupe Fiasco (about as anti-violence as it gets!), Casey Kasem, Janet Jackson, Ellen Burstyn, and Cat Stevens, just to name a few. These are not strange, foreign, obscure, anti-American whackjobs. These are normal people, many of whom I’m sure some on this site have admired. And many have contributed to society in wonderful ways. Painting all of these people, as well as the rest of the 1.6 BILLION Muslims (23% of the world’s population) as bad people who are not to be trusted strikes me as ignorant and hateful.

As for being violent, below is a link where you can find tons of information on conferences, decrees, statements, etc by North American religious authorities denouncing violence and terrorism against anyone.
theamericanmuslim.org/

Just something to think about, but to a lot of outsiders, the Catholic faith is forever tarnished because of the acts of a few priests. Statistically, violence within Islam comes from a small minority of the faith-and this percentage is even smaller when we’re talking about western Muslims. (You’ll also note that rates of terrorism and violence in the name of religion from Jews and Christians drops when you limit it to the west as well). Perhaps approaching Islam with the same gentleness and understanding that you would want a Muslim to approach you with would go a long way in easing tensions on a small, and hopefully eventually, large scale.

Muslims are allowed to deliberately deceive non-Muslims in order to further their socio-religio-economic-political aims. This is why they play nice until they start to have significant manpower, and then begin the process of asserting themselves.

I’ve known many Muslims, and I consider several to be good friends. None of them fit the descriptions above, and none of them would talk about anyone in those sorts of terms.

Speaking in those offensive and quite frankly, disgusting generalities (you can never believe anything a Muslim says/Muslims can only be good by virtue of their religion’s relationship to Christianity) says far more about the people making those statements than it does about the Muslims that are being disparaged.

One of my favorite social activists is a Muslim. She dedicates her life to trying to prevent people from killing each other. (Ameena Mathews) uic.edu/depts/ccsb/ameena-matthews.html

There are a lot of household names that are also Muslims: Shaquille O’Neal, Fareed Zakaria (doesn’t consider himself religious these days), Dave Chappelle, Lupe Fiasco (about as anti-violence as it gets!), Casey Kasem, Janet Jackson, Ellen Burstyn, and Cat Stevens, just to name a few. These are not strange, foreign, obscure, anti-American whackjobs. These are normal people, many of whom I’m sure some on this site have admired. And many have contributed to society in wonderful ways. Painting all of these people, as well as the rest of the 1.6 BILLION Muslims (23% of the world’s population) as bad people who are not to be trusted strikes me as ignorant and hateful.

As for being violent, below is a link where you can find tons of information on conferences, decrees, statements, etc by North American religious authorities denouncing violence and terrorism against anyone.
theamericanmuslim.org/

Just something to think about, but to a lot of outsiders, the Catholic faith is forever tarnished because of the acts of a few priests. Statistically, violence within Islam comes from a small minority of the faith-and this percentage is even smaller when we’re talking about western Muslims. (You’ll also note that rates of terrorism and violence in the name of religion from Jews and Christians drops when you limit it to the west as well). Perhaps approaching Islam with the same gentleness and understanding that you would want a Muslim to approach you with would go a long way in easing tensions on a small, and hopefully eventually, large scale.

Hi SteveVH, there is no single standard muslim position because there are many different ideologies all claiming to be Muslim. Some are extreme like ISIS as you mentioned, others not so much.

It’s my opinion that the only truly Muslim ideology as taught by Muhammad and his family (PBUH&HF) is the twelver Shia branch. All the others are corrupted.

Most of the people you mention above are muslim converts I believe.
I knew that Cat Stevens converted many years ago, but I don’t have any information on the others that you mentioned.

Although it might seem some posters are speaking in generalities I don’t think they are insinuating that all muslims fall under a negative umbrella. There are some negative aspects that are associated with Islam that we are witnessing in the news now. Religious freedom.
In iraq they burned an 1800 year old church. They told tens of thousands of christians they had to convert or pay a tax or take the sword. There are no more christians left in mosul. They made monks leave their monastery and they could not take anything with them.
They have been killing christians in the name of islam in nigeria.
In sudan they just passed a law that no new churches could be built.
So how are people supposed to have positive feelings about muslims when so much violence is committed. In the west we have laws that permit people to worship freely. It seems wherever Islam gets a foothold it is their way or no way. Kill the infidels. You would have to live in a cave not to see what is happening globally.
Yes I am sure there are many nice muslim people.
Just be thankful you live in a country with religious freedom.
It is easy to become a Muslim.
Not so easy to leave Islam. Hopefully someday in the middle east the muslims will be able to be like Jordan and live together and respect one another’s faiths.

Can a Muslim please interpret Surah 9:29 for me?

Well, it doesn’t matter what I believe; I’m going to be accused of believing it, regardless. It doesn’t matter what I say.

To add further. I’ve lived on both sides of the fence. We were raised in a Sunni family. My parents were not very religious but living in Saudi Arabia you are indoctronated to a great degree to accept everything and question nothing.

Any idea that would challenge the status quo is systematically censored and so most people who live there are ignorant about a lot of things. Not because they’re inherently bad but because they don’t know anything else.

That sort of environment creates opportunities for extreme elements to manipulate and influence the uninformed and so it creates a breeding ground for extremists.

Like I said before, there is no single standard. Everyone holds on to their idea of “the true islam” even though many of these standards conflict with one another.

It wasn’t until we moved to Canada and in High School that I started to look at all of this critically and after reading, researching and many discussions with Sunnis that I finally came to the conclusion that Sunni Islam is not true islam. long story short I converted to Shia Islam because I felt it represented the true spirit of Islam as closely as possible.

As someone here mentioned, Taqiyya is allowed in Islam if your life is in danger. If I or my family is threatened and the only way out is to hide my faith then It’s completely reasonable to do so. What’s important is that this is only allowed in extreme circumstances.

I hope this helped clarify things a bit.

To be honest you seem very nice, which leads me to believe that you don’t think you should fight me until I pay the Jizya with willing submission and feel myself subdued. :slight_smile:

Drac, it is the Muslim viewpoint in which I am most interested. It matters very much what you believe and what you say does matter. I am sure that you can understand the concern, given what is happening in the middle east and northern Africa as we speak.

We have some “Christian” groups, such as the Westboro Baptists, that engage in very un-Christian behavior. One witnessing their disgusting behavior and believing this to be the Christian faith would be very much in error. If groups such as ISIS are the exception and are, in fact, not in keeping with the faith of Islam, that is one thing which everyone can understand. If what they are professing is mainstream Muslim belief then we have a very big problem.

I understand your hesitancy as this is a Christian forum and tensions around the world are high, but I really would appreciate your input.

Thanks.

Steve

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.