I have to agree with Andy (McCarthy) and disagree with Andrew (Stuttaford). True, the question is not merely what is written in the Koran – it’s how what is written is applied by contemporary Muslim rulers and leaders. And the answer, discouragingly often, is quite literally.
For example, the Pope is being criticized for quoting a criticism of Mohammad’s “command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The Ayatollah Khomeini – the religious/ideological inspiration for both Ahmadinejad and Nassrallah — had this to say on the subject: [T]hose who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. … Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to paradise, which can be opened only for holy warriors!If there any ambiguity, any wiggle room in this remark I’m not perceiving it.
My latest Scripps Howard column explores the ideology of our enemies in a little greater depth.