‘Allah does not love aggressors.’
The problem is that anything can be deemed as aggression. Anything can be seen as defensive. And just about everything is seen as being aggressive towards Islam in the Koran; just as it is by today’s Muslims. Thus Muslims never have a shortage of things to be defensively-aggressive about. There has never been a shortage of ‘defensive’ wars in Islamic history either. Don’t forget that
i) The Satanic Verses were an ‘attack on Islam’.
ii) The Danish cartoons were ‘an attack on Mohammed’.
iii) The banning of the veil in France is an ‘attack on Islam and Muslim women’.
iv) Not allowing Sharia law in Manningham (Bradford) is an attack on Muslims.
v) Not allowing a new mosque in Dudley is ‘an attack on Muslims’.
A theme which can be seen throughout the Koran is the ‘aggressive’ act of other religions forcing Muslims ‘to renounce [their] faith’. What does that mean? -
i) Saying one’s Christian or Hindu prayers in front of a Muslim can be deemed as an attempt by ‘infidels’ to get Muslims ‘to renounce [their] faith’.
ii) Building churches in Saudi Arabia is actually seen as an attempt by Christians to get Muslims to ‘renounce their faith’.
iii) Anything at odds with Islam could and has been seen by Muslims as an attempt by non-Muslims to try and get them to renounce their faith. Ad infinitum!
Thus these so-called ‘attacks’ on Muslims end up being the best form of attack for Muslims. This is an example of this defensive or paranoid Muslim mentality from the Koran:
‘They [the Jews, Christians, etc.] will not cease to fight against you until they force you to renounce your faith – if they are able.’ – 2:216
The obvious result of all this is that all non-Muslims, or all non-Muslim objects and symbols, are seen as a direct threat to both Islam and to Muslims. Indeed all these things are seen as tacit or explicit acts of aggression towards Islam or Muslims. Allah ‘does not like aggressors’. Thus that almost pacifist-like phrase, which is meant to show us that Muslims or Islam is not aggressive or violent, is actually a warning to all non-Muslims that they should never mess with Muslims. It is not actually aimed at Muslims at all. It is aimed at the infidel. Not only that, it gives Muslims an excuse or justification for defensive-attacks on non-Muslims. Thus defence, or defensive-attack, is virtually indistinguishable from plain or outright Muslim expansionist attack. And one of the very few passages against ‘aggressors’ or aggression turns out not to be what it seems. It is, in fact, aimed at us – not at Muslims! What else would one expect from a warrior-prophet?
In part of the surah ‘the Cow’, it is ‘idolatry’ which is seen as, well, aggressive, or an act of aggression, towards Muslims. The very existence of idolatry, Jewish, Christian or whatever, is seen as aggressive or expansionist in or by the Koran. And because it is an act of aggression, Muslims can ‘fight’ against it. That is, jihad against idolatry is accepted and encouraged. In fact in Islam and the Koran idolatry is seen as being worse than the killing which will occur in a ‘defensive’ attack against it. Thus:
‘Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed.’ – 2:216
From then on, in this surah, there are various references to ‘fighting’ (not ‘jihad’!). For example, Muslims are enjoined to ‘[F]ight for the cause of Allah’ (2:242).
Muslims, in the Koran and today, don’t want to be the ‘victims’ of what they see as the aggression of other religions. That’s what they don’t want. What do they want? This:
‘… [Allah]. Give us victory over the unbelievers.’ – 2:286
The best way to stop infidel aggression, however that aggression is seen, is to gain a ‘victory over the unbelievers’. Thus when every unbeliever is dead or converted (or ‘reverted’), there will indeed be peace. But even that is only brought about after everyone’s complete submission to Allah.
Again, we have another Koranic reference to not attacking the ‘aggressor’ first. (If the ‘aggressor’ does not attack first, he can’t be the aggressor.) Here again it is others who are seen, in the Koran, as fighting against Muslims. It is not a case of Muslims attacking others. If we remember how wide ‘attack’ can be read by Muslims or in Islam, then the following passage should seem very problematic and in no way a direct or indirect reference to some kind of Islamic semi-pacifism, as it were:
‘Fight for the sake of Allah those that fight against you, but do not attack then first. God does not love the aggressors.’ – 2:189
What is meant by ‘fight’ and ‘aggressors’ here? Today Muslims see anything or everything as aggression against Muslims, Islam or Mohammed. If they do that today, and often in non-Muslim countries, imagine how things were in the Prophet’s time. In fact, in the very next paragraph we are given a hint, or even a statement, as to what kind of aggression we are talking about here. We are talking about infidel or unbeliever ‘idolatry’! Idolatry itself is seen as aggression by Mohammed and his fellow Muslims, as it is today. The Koran says:
‘Idolatry is more grievous than bloodshed.’ – 2:189
That is just a few lines after the Koran talked about infidel aggression towards Mohammed and his fellow Muslims. Thus we must conclude that infidel idolatry or idols are seen as aggression or aggressive. It is probable that this particular reference is to pagan Arab idols and idolatry. It could just as easily refer to Christians and churches or Jews and synagogues.
The very next few sentences make one think that the Islamic or Muslim view of aggression is very strange. Or should I say that the Islamic view of self-defence is very strange. Do the following words sounds like a call to self-defence or the cry of those who are suffering from infidel aggression? –
‘Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.’ – 2:189
There is another reference to aggression, or violence, in this surah which is not directly connected with jihad or fighting. It is a statement which seems to be taken directly from the Old Testament business of ‘an eye for an eye’. It also contains a reference to slaves and the legitimisation of slavery. It goes:
‘Believers, retaliation is decreed for you in bloodshed: a free man for a free man, a slave for a slave, and a female for a female.’ – 2:178
Having said that, this can also be seen as a reference to jihad, or, should I say, to Islamic defensive-attack or aggressive-defence, which I have covered. That is, the reference to ‘retaliation’. Thus Muslims can retaliate not for direct physical attacks or force against them, but for the example of the ‘idolatry’ already mentioned. Thus if anyone builds a church, temple or synagogue, or prays out loud, then Muslims can ‘retaliate’ against the infidel or unbeliever because such things are, after all, seen as being attacks by Muslims, the Koran, or Mohammed.