June 4, 2009
Obama quotes verse 5:32, omits 5:33
President Obama in his speech said " The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind."
I really find it odd that neither President Obama nor any of his advisors did not realize that the meaning of verse 5:32 is not clear until it is quoted together with verse 5:33 which follows it:
YUSUFALI: On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land
Update: Andrew Bostom writes:YUSUFALI: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;
Immediately following the murderous acts of jihad terrorism committed on September 11, 2001, Ibn Warraq highlighted the tragic irony of many apologists quoting selectively from Qur'an 5:32-"whoso slays a soul . . . shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether; and whoso gives life to a soul, shall be as if he has given life to mankind altogether"- attempting to demonstrate that the Qur'ran disapproved of violence and killing.
Firstly, these wonderful sounding words come from a preexisting Jewish text (Mishnah, IV Division 5, "Thus was created a single man, to teach us that every person who loses a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has lost the entire world, and every person who sustains a single soul, it shall be written about him as if he has sustained the entire world."
And apologists for Islam-just like President Obama-quote the Koranic words out of context. For the very next verse offers quite a different meaning from that of 5:32, which was "laid...down for the Israelites," as stated in the next verse, 5:33, continuing:
"...Our apostles brought them [the Jews] veritable proofs: yet it was not long before many of them committed great evils in the land. Those that make war against Allah and His apostle [Muhammad] and spread disorder shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the country. (Qur'an 5:33)"
The supposedly noble sentiments of the first verse, taken from a Jewish source, are entirely undercut by the second verse, which becomes a bloodthirsty menacing by Muhammad of the Jews. (And as an aside the Muslim sources estimate Muhammad killed 24,000 Jews in his jihad campaigns against them). Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively insist that any who oppose the Muslim prophet will be killed, or crucified, mutilated, and banished.