In today’s political and social discourse, between groups like al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban forming and mass Muslim immigration in to Western countries, concerns about cultural and religious incompatibility arise on a frequent basis, with one side taking a more liberalized view toward allowing such immigration believing it to be benign. The more traditionally-minded disagree with this.
From the standpoint of a person that nearly converted to Islam in 1996 until having studied the sources of Islamic Law beyond surface-scratching apologist articles on Islamic da’wah (proselytizing) websites, this writer sees many deep and dangerous issues regarding Islamic teachings which render the religion not only incompatible with coexistence in Western countries, but demand a totalitarian theocracy that is incompatible with any semblance of human rights standards.
Worse than this, Islamic foreign relations with members of other faiths is often based on military conflict as shown in the Quran and exemplified by Muhammad, messenger of Allah.
Both religions are compared in this article. The article’s author is a non-religious agnostic that has studied both faiths.
While this short article is by no means exhaustive of the problems of violence and oppression inherent within the Islamic faith, it is adequate to illustrate that Islam is in fact wholly incompatible with Western culture which is why very nearly every contact with the West by Islam before 1918 was offensive warfare on the part of Muslims to expand the Islamic State and violence is so often the center of the Islamic reaction to real or perceived wrongs by both outsiders and between Muslims and is used to settle conflicts.
Liberal-minded people tend to note that few Muslims are taking up arms and fighting Jihad as a means of expressing the benign nature of the Islamic faith. True, few of the world’s Muslims are militant Jihadists, but does that mean that Islam itself isn’t militaristic and advocating of Jihad? Furthermore, popular sentiment and support of such Jihadist groups as well as suicide bombing tactics are common in the Islamic world.
Opinion polls among Muslims show that:
Are the bulk of the world’s Muslims militarily empowered to carry out an effort to build another Caliphate? No, they really aren’t, and the few Muslim groups that have done so have either drawn from misplaced Western foreign aid or the personal fortunes of leaders. We also must consider that a person claiming a religious faith his own does not necessarily equal his being a knowledgeable, fervent practitioner of it thus his personal actions cannot be automatically considered a reflection of that faith’s teachings.
Indeed, Islam teaches that Jihad – fighting in the way of Allah – is an obligatory aspect of the faith, and Muhammad stated that there is no greater deed than fighting Jihad in the way of Allah.
Quran 2:216 reads,
“Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
Quran 4:95,96: “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home). Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward; Degrees of (higher) grades from Him, and Forgiveness and Mercy. And Allah is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
In light of this, it is important to note that the Quran teaches that if Muslims disobey Allah and his Messenger that they will be punished in hellfire (See Quran 72:23 and 4:14), thus when then Quran exhorts believers to wage Jihad, they had better wage Jihad. Part of what is considered disobedience is fleeing the battlefield. Quran 8:15-16 reads,
“O you who believe! When you meet those who disbelieve, in a battle-field, never turn your backs to them. And whoever turns his back to them on such a day – unless it be a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), – he indeed has drawn upon himself wrath from Allah. And his abode is Hell, and worst indeed is that destination!”
As part of this, the Quran makes it known that “hypocrites,” or those Muslims who waver in their faith into unbelief, have non-believers as friends, and who in part decided to not fight with Muhammad nor migrate with the Muslims, were not only doomed to hellfire but are to be dealt with harshly by the Muslims and will go to hell with the unbelieving pagans, Christians, and Jews: “O Prophet! Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed).” – Quran 66:9. See also Quran 9:73.
Included with the penalties of being an unrepentant hypocrite was to be killed by the Muslims.
“They wish that you should disbelieve just as they disbelieved so that you may all be alike. Do not, therefore, take from them allies until they emigrate in the way of Allah, but if they turn their backs (on emigration), seize them and slay them wherever you come upon them. Take none of them for your ally or helper.” – Quran 4:89.
“The Obligation to Believe in the Messenger, Obey Him and Follow His Sunnah” is a good explanatory resource of the obligatory character of obeying Muhammad as a believer would Allah.
It is essential to note here that Jihad fighting takes many forms and is not limited to those who pick up the sword. Other forms of 0f Jihad include material, moral, verbal, and spiritual support for the fighters as well as personal moral battles, thus that only a certain amount of people have physically migrated or have committed terrorist acts is not indicative of the amount of support for Jihad nor the number of people participating in Jihad in its various accepted forms for the cause. Hadith sections with rules regarding Jihad only refer to Jihad regarding fighting wars and supporting fighters.
Who does the Quran say to fight? In Muhammad’s lifetime as shown in Ibn Kathir’s The Battles of the Prophet (which can be downloaded in full PDF form here), fighting was with non-Muslims and Muslims who were soft on their faith and mixed with the other side. Once we reach later revelations such as Quran Sura 9 which regarded the Expedition of Tabuk near the end of Muhammad’s life, what we see is that offensive Jihad became a means to expand Islam and the profits of Muslim traders, and those who did not convert could pay a Jizya tribute tax and live under a strict set of rules established by Islamic Law. At this point, the old tribal warfare, political intrigue, and loot-getting of previous battles in various locales of the Arabian Peninsula went international, first in the direction of the Holy Land.
Quran 9:29 reads,
“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
And 9:33, “It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).”
Quran sura 9 is about Muhammad’s intent to confront and attack the Roman Empire, recorded in Islamic history as the Expedition or Battle of Tabuk.
When Allah, Most High, ordered the believers to prohibit the disbelievers form entering or coming near the sacred Mosque. On that, Quraish thought that this would reduce their profits from trade. Therefore, Allah, Most High, compensated them and ordered them to fight the people of the Book until they embrace Islam or pay the Jizya.
‘’O ye who believe! Truly the pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-Wise. 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, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.’’ – Quran 9:28-29.
Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) decided to fight the Romans in order to call them to Islam. Allah, Most High, says.
‘O ye who believe! Fight the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find harshness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.’’ – Quran 9:123.
Moreover, Allah, Most High, urges the believers to go forth to fight in the Cause of Allah, saying,
“Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and you persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew. If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long (and weighed) on them. They would indeed swear by Allah, ‘If we only could, we should certainly have come out with you: ‘They would destroy their own souls: for Allah doth know that they are certainly lying.’’ – Quran 9:41-42.
Tabuk was not about self-defense. It was “to fight the Romans to call them to Islam.” Not to proselytize them. To fight them to convert them or conquer them to extract the Jizya by threat of the sword. It was an open-ended command to fight unbelievers which is what led this expedition undertaken to confront the armies of the then-Christian Roman Empire, thus the enrichment from Allah for the believers in the form of Jizya payments and plunder. Tabuk was Muhammad’s final battle before his death and thus set the stage for his religious progeny.
“Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: ‘I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.'” – Sahih Bukhari #25.
After the death of Muhammad, his successors continued this offensive battle by the sword and the size of the Islamic world exploded within a few generations.
Islamic Rules of Jizya (Dhimmi Status)
As explained in the ancient manual of Islamic Law called, Reliance of the Traveler by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri:
Non-Muslims Living in the Islamic State (The Dhimmi)
011.0 NON-MUSLIM SUBJECTS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE (AL-DHIMMA)
011.1 A formal agreement of protection is made with citizens who are:
(4) Samaritans and Sabians, if their religions do not respectively contradict the fundamental bases of Judaism and Christianity
(5) And those who adhere to the religion of Abraham or one of the other prophets (upon whom be blessings and peace).
011.3 Such an agreement is only valid when the subject peoples:
(a) follow the rules of Islam (A: those mentioned below [0.11.5] and those involving public behavior and dress, though in acts of worship and their private lives, the subject communities have their own laws, judges, and courts, enforcing the rules of their own religion among themselves):
(b) and pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya).
THE NON-MUSLIM POLL TAX
0.11.4 The minimum non-Muslim poll tax is one dinar (n: 4.235 grams of gold) per person (A: per year). The maximum is whatever both sides agree upon.
It is collected with leniency and politeness, as are all debts, and it is not levied on women, children, or the insane.
0.11.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) Are penalized for committing adultery or theft, though not for drunkenness.
(2) Are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
(3) Are not greeted with “as-Salaamu ‘alaykum”;
(4) Must keep to the side of the street;
(5) May not build higher than or as high as Muslims’ buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) Are forbidden to openly display wine or pork. (A: to ring church bells or to display crosses), recite Torah or Evangel aloud, or to make public display of their funerals and feast days;
(7) And are forbidden to build new churches. – pages 607-8
Shariah (Islamic Law) has specific rules regarding Jizya payments and what happens if the unbelievers do not keep up the payment. In short, any peace treaties are nullified and a return to a state of war is in effect. Sahih Muslim #4522 says in part,
“[F]ight in the Name of Allah, for the sake of Allah. Fight those who disbelieve in Allah… When you meet your enemy among the idolaters, offer them three options, and whichever they choose, accept it from them and refrain from (fighting) them. Invite them to Islam and if they respond, then accept it from them and refrain from (fighting) them. Then invite them to migrate from their land to the land of the Muhajirun (Al-Madinah), and tell them that if they do that, they will have the same rights and duties as the Muhajirin have. If they refuse to leave, then tell them that they are like the Muslim Bedouin and subject to the same rulings as the believers, but they will have no share of the booty and spoils of war, unless they strive alongside the Muslims. If they refuse, then ask them to pay the Jizya. If they respond, then accept it from them and refrain from (fighting) them. If they refuse that, then seek the help of Allah and fight them.”
The above mentioned manual Reliance of the Traveler further details the treatment of those unbelievers who violate the terms of their peace treaties with Muslims (including but not limited to not paying the required Jizya):
011.11 When a subject’s agreement with the state has been violated, the caliph chooses between the four alternatives mentioned above in connection with prisoners of war. (09.14). – Page 609
09.14 When an adult male is taken captive, the caliph (def: 025) considers the interests (O: of Islam and the Muslims) and decides between the prisoner’s death, slavery, release without paying anything, or ransoming himself in exchange for money or for a Muslim held captive held by the enemy.
If the prisoner becomes a Muslim (O: before the caliph chooses any of the four alternatives) then he may not be killed, and one of the other three alternatives is chosen.” – page 604
Jizya is a protection racket and dhimmi status is institutionalized oppression.
Apologists for Islam ignore these later Quranic revelations which show this type of offensive warfare into historically Christian lands (Muslims officially invaded and gained control of the parts of it that were in the Holy Land after Muhammad’s death under his successors Abu Bakr and Umar) and fighting until they convert or pay the jizya.
In other words, violence in Islam is allowed for self-defense (real or perceived) and for spreading the faith. Does this have something to do with the high levels of violence and terrorism we see among Muslims? The clear answer to this is yes as study of the Quran and battles of Muhammad reveal there was little to no missionary work between Muhammad and the pagan tribes once he failed to convince them of his prophethood in the early days. Conflicts were settled with the sword and the plunder distributed among the fighters, with the largest share going to “Allah and his Apostle.”
Standard practice became for Muhammad to slaughter male fighting-age populations of enemy villages and to take the girls and women as loot with the belongings, crops, and animals. After the Battle of Khaibar after the males with pubic hair were slaughtered (See Hadith collection Sunan ibn Majah, Vol 3, #2541), a pretty Jewish girl named Safiyah bint Huyayy was chosen by Muhammad to be one of his brides. She had nowhere else to go, needless to say, after her father was tortured to death by Muslims for his treasure.
The Hadith sum up Muhammad’s relations with the Jewish tribes thusly,
“Narrated Abu Huraira: While we were in the Mosque, the Prophet came out and said, ‘Let us go to the Jews.’ We went out till we reached Bait-ul-Midras. He said to them, ‘If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.'” – Sahih Bukhari #3167 and 6944.
Yes, Muhammad is Allah’s partner in ownership of the earth.
Other Jews in the vicinity in and around Khaibar, having suffered a nearly month-long siege and having seen what became of their fellow Jews who put up a fight, surrendered under advantageous terms to the Muslims which were accepted: The Jews gave the Muslims half of the produce of their lands and Muhammad retained the right to evict them at will, and they were indeed evicted by Umar bin al-Khattab, successor of Muhammad.
On the lighter side, according to authentic Hadiths, a Jewish victim of Muhammad’s poisoned him and his leading men with lamb. “Narrated Anas bin Malik: A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked, ‘Shall we kill her?’ He said, ‘No.’ I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle” – Sahih Bukhari #2617.
Muhammad confronted his assailant for an explanation, “He asked, ‘Have you poisoned this sheep?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He asked, ‘What made you do so?’ They said, ‘We wanted to know if you were a liar, in which case we would get rid of you, and if you are a Prophet then the poison would not harm you.'” – Sahih Bukhari #3169.
Ancient Islamic biographer Ibn Sa’d wrote in his biography of Muhammad, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir that, “The Apostle of Allah sent for Zaynab Bint al-Harith [that’s the woman who poisoned him] and said to her: What induced you to do what you have done? She replied: You have done to my people what you have done. You have killed my father, my uncle, and my husband, so I said to myself: If you are a prophet, the foreleg will inform you; and others have said: If you are a king, we will get rid of you.”
To counter the idea of the violent spread of the Islamic faith, apologists present in a vacuum verses such as Quran 2:256,
“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”
But that was before Muhammad commanded Muslims fight unbelievers until they submit or pay the Jizya. Muhammad’s teachings changed over time. Theologically Muslims call such changes in Quranic teaching “abrogration,” (in Arabic, naskh) which is founded in the Quran itself such as in verse 2:106 which reads, “None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?.” Refer to the WikiIslam article on abrogation/naskh for a full listing of Quran and Hadith verses on the subject.
For an explanation of the Jizya tax and the status of non-Muslims as dhimmi in Islamic law, refer to Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (Quran commentary) on Sura 9 titled, “Paying Jizya Is a Sign of kufr (disbelief) and Disgrace.”
What we have is a play on words: While it’s technically true they weren’t “compelled” take on Islam as a faith, they were fought until they did or paid Jizya tax and lived in a subjected, lesser state than the Muslims. So not being “forced” to convert, they were just put through hell on a daily basis for not doing so. If they did not keep their Jizya payments, it was considered that whatever treaty of peace they had with the Muslims was broken, and they could be slain. But apologists won’t tell you that part, they focus on the benign-sounding “no obligation” verse and don’t give you the context.
Why Have Cartoonists Been Threatened or Killed By Muslims?
Quranic injunctions specifically note that the hypocrites among Muslims were engaging in behavior of disbelief and were to be killed did they not mend their ways. (This in general is the Islamic punishment for apostates.)
Quran 4:89 reads, “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”
Having been established as disbelievers, the Quran also refers to the hypocrites as those who are warned to keep their mouths shut with their speaking spreading rumors and other objectionable things about Muhammad and the Muslims:
“Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment. And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin… They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy).” – Quran 33:57-59,61.
“And among them are men who annoy the Prophet (Muhammad) and say: “He is (lending his) ear (to every news).” Say: “He listens to what is best for you; he believes in Allah; has faith in the believers; and is a mercy to those of you who believe.” But those who annoy Allah’s Messenger (Muhammad) will have a painful torment.” – Quran 9:61.
They are threatened with murder for verbal annoyance, not physical harm.
Under this backdrop we can then understand why authentic Hadiths recount Muhammad ordering a number of unbelievers slain for mocking Muhammad. A short selection from the ancient Islamic book Messenger of Allah: Ash-Shifa of Qadi Iyad, written by revered ancient Sunni Islamic scholar Imam Qadi Iyad in a section of that book titled, “The proof of the necessity of killing anyone who curses the Prophet or finds fault with him”:
We have already mentioned the consensus. As for the traditions, al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali related from his father that the Messenger of Allah said in respect to this matter, “Whoever curses a Prophet, kill him. Whoever curses my Companions, Beat him.”
In a sound hadith the Prophet commanded that Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf be killed. He asked, “Who will deal with Ka’b ibn Al-Ashraf? He has harmed Allah and His Messenger.” He sent someone to assassinate him without calling him to Islam, in distinction to idol-worshipers. The cause of that lay in his causing harm to the Prophet. That indicates that the Prophet had him killed for something other than idol-worship. It was for causing Harm. Abu Rafi,’ who used to harm the Messenger of Allah and work against him, was also killed.
Similarly on the Day of the Conquest, he ordered the killing of Ibn Khatal and his two slavegirls who used to sing curses on the Prophet.
In another hadith about a man who used to curse the Prophet, the Prophet said, “Who will save me from my enemy?” Khalid said, “I will,” so the Prophet sent him out and he killed him.
Similarly the Prophet commanded that a group of unbelievers who used to injure and curse him, like an-Nadr ibn al-Harith and ‘Uqba ibn Abi Mu’ayt, be killed. He promised that a group of them would be killed before and after the conquest. They were all killed except for those who hurried to become Muslim before they were overpowered. Al-Bzaar related from Ibn ‘Abbas that ‘Uqba ibn Abi Mu’ayt cried out, “O company of Quraysh, why is it that I alone among you am to be killed without war?” The Prophet said, “For your disbelief and your forging lies against the Messenger of Allah.”
‘Abdu’r-Razzaq mentioned that a man cursed the Prophet, causing the Prophet to say, “Who will save me from my enemy”? Az-Zubayr said, “I will.” He sent az-Zubayr and he killed him.
It is related that a woman used to curse the Prophet and he said, “Who will save me from my enemy?” Khalid ibn al-Walid went out and killed her.
It is related that a man forged lies against the Prophet and he sent ‘Ali and az-Zubayr to kill him…
[Note: A full listing of assassination victims listed in this book is not reprinted here to save space.]
Because upholding the Prophet’s honour is an obligation owed by his entire community and anyone who curses a free man of his community is given a hadd-punishment, the punishment of someone who curses the Prophet is that he is to be killed because of the immensity of the worth of the Prophet and his elevation over others.
Does it all make sense now?
Critics point to the violence of the Old Testament (containing the laws of the Old Covenant) as an illustration that 1) the Bible is as bad as the Quran if not worse, and 2) Christianity teaches violence but the Christians stopped doing it after the Reformation.
Biblical violence is not comparable to that of the Quran due to the limited time and space of Old Testament violence. Old Testament violence is guided by a few generalized precepts which are especially key in terms of contrasting it to the Islamic concept of offensive Jihad to spread the faith.
The promise of the Holy Land is made to Abraham’s (then Abram) descendants to inherit it in the future:
Genesis 15:13-16 reads,
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.'”
Joshua 23 says, “I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. The Lord your God will push them back before you, and drive them out of your sight; and you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you. Therefore be very steadfast to observe and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right nor to the left, so that you may not be mixed with these nations left here among you, or make mention of the names of their gods, or swear by them, or serve them, or bow yourselves down to them, but hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day… If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he enjoined on you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land that he has given to you.”
Note a few key points:
Further, if the Jews were to sin as such as the Amorites and other tribes that were removed from the Holy Land, the Jews would have faced a similar penalty as they:
“‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.'” – Leviticus 18:24-28.
The Old Testament specifically says to treat respectfully foreigners living among the Jews: “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19:33-35. There is no equivalent to Dhimmi status in the Bible.
Jesus Fulfilled and Replaced the Old Covenant with the New Covenant:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” – Matthew 5:17,18
The time frame is the key; Jesus had not yet fulfilled his mission of crucifixion and resurrection. After this is fulfilled, the Apostle Paul explained the significance in terms of the transition to the New Covenant,
Hebrews 8:6-16 : “But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.
God finds fault with them when he says:
‘The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach one another
or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
In speaking of ‘a new covenant,’ he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.”
“[Y]ou have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” – Romans 7:4-6.
Jesus made it clear that Old Testament dietary laws were abolished: Mark 7:17-19: “After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. ‘Are you so dull?’ he asked. ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 1For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.’ (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)”
Were Jesus and His Apostles Violent?
Jesus’ Apostles did not respond to persecution of their faith violently such as Muhammad did but rather, “But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their region. So they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, and went to Iconium.” – Acts 13:50,51.
Jesus forbade his Apostles from violent acts: “Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath.” – John 18:10.
Jesus never called for people to be assassinated, let alone on flimsy grounds such as “annoyance” and “spreading rumors.”
The Apostle Paul described the ministry of the early Church this way: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4,5.
How did the Apostles of Jesus die? All but John (and excluding Judas who killed himself) were persecuted and killed for their faith. They committed no violence, assembled no armies, and did not have their way with captive slave women.
Thus, we do not see Christians engaging in offensive warfare to expand Christendom, engaging in animal sacrifice, following weird dietary laws, establishing protection racket schemes, demanding a theocratic religiously-ruled state, or calling for people to be stoned to death for their sins.
Such things do not have to be reformed out of Christianity because such things were never taught in Christianity. The same cannot be said for Islam.