Islam: The Learning Curve

The following essay by Michael Copeland was originally published at LibertyGB in 2013.

Islam: The Learning Curve

by Michael Copeland

We all have a learning curve when it comes to Islam, journalists especially. Consider this exchange, between Tim Marshall of Sky News and an insurgent prisoner in Syria ( 8 Dec 2012). He asks him:

“What is the future in Syria for the minorities…?”

“O.K., they have three choices, either they became a Muslim, or they have to pay the jizya, or to be killed.”

“Wheesh!!” [or something, expressing surprise and disbelief]

“Do YOU believe this?” he asks incredulously, and to the interpreter, “Does HE believe this?”

“It is the reality,” the interpreter replies.

“Ya, but does HE believe that this is what SHOULD happen?”

“So, he believes in it, after having the khilafa [Caliphate] … until the Muslims they became strong, so they can impose that.”

“Is this what you WANT?” asks Marshall.

“Yes.” …

“And you BELIEVE this?”


This reaction is probably shared by most of us in the West, who doubtless find it as hard to believe as the reporter did. We, however, are at a great disadvantage: we are not acquainted with the teachings of Islam. How does the prisoner’s statement square with Islamic doctrine? He has surely got it all wrong, yes?

To the contrary: a resounding NO. He has got it all right. He is expressing what the source texts say.

Koran 9:5 (amongst many others) gives the clear instruction:

“….kill the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent [convert to Islam], establish prayer, and give zakat [tithe money], let them [go] their way.”

Koran 9:29 commands Muslims to make non-Muslims submit, by force, into subordinate dhimmi status as second-class citizens. “Islam”, after all, means “Submission”.

“Fight those who do not …. adopt the religion of truth [Islam] … until they give the jizya [“protection” money extortion tax] with willing submission and feel themselves brought low.”

As Abu Hamza has explained, “When you fight, you fight to kill: you kill” ( 31 March 2012).

“Do you BELIEVE this?” asked the reporter. Answer: every Muslim is REQUIRED to believe it: he is not permitted to WANT or BELIEVE anything different. No option is available: there is no freedom of conscience in Islam. Dr. Salah al Sawy, Secretary General of the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, is emphatic: the Muslim community, he says, “possesses no power except to acknowledge and obey” (Translating Jihad, 30 Mar 2011). There can be no choosing: all have to submit.

The Koran is promoted as “true from eternity to eternity”, says Sam Solomon, former professor of Islamic law ( It forms part of Islamic law. “To deny any verse of the Koran”, declares the Manual of Islamic Law, is one of the “ACTS THAT ENTAIL LEAVING ISLAM” (“Reliance of the Traveller”, o8.7(7)). “Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst. …” (o8.0). “When a person ….voluntarily apostatizes from [leaves] Islam he deserves to be killed” (o8.1, o8.4). The killing, furthermore, can be carried out by anyone without any legal repercussion:

“There is no indemnity for killing an apostate [one who leaves Islam] (O: or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die)” (o8.4).

“Islam is the only religion in the world that mandates violence against other religions”, explains Robert Spencer, author of numerous books about Islam, and director of Jihad Watch website.

Below are some examples from different Islamic states.

In Sudan’s Penal Code of 1991, article 126. 2, we read: “Whoever is guilty of apostasy is invited to repent over a period to be determined by the tribunal. If he persists in his apostasy and was not recently converted to Islam, he will be put to death.” The Penal Code of Mauritania of 1984, article 306 reads: “…All Muslims guilty of apostasy… will be asked to repent during a period of three days. If he does not repent… he is condemned to death as an apostate, and his belongings confiscated by the State Treasury.” (Jihad Watch 17 Apr 2004)

In Sudan the Islamist government of Khartoum declared a formal jihad, holy war, on the south and the Nuba, citing a fatwa by Sudan’s Muslim authorities which declared that “An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate; and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.” (Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPage Mag 4 Jan 2013)

In Iraq a Shiite ayatollah, Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani, has issued a “fatwa”, a ruling, calling on Iraqi Christians to convert to Islam or be killed ( 16 Dec 2012). The command of [Grand Ayatollah] Al Baghdadis to the Christian minority in Iraq is “conversion to Islam or death.” (Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag 18 Dec 2012).

In Spain the Madrid bombers who killed 202 commuters, the “Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades”, mindful that Muslims had been expelled from Spain in 1492, specifically cited Koran 2:191:

“Allah, may he be praised, said… ‘Kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from where they have driven you out; for internal strife [Fitna] is worse than killing.’” (Jihad Watch 12 Mar 2004)

In Nigeria, “For peace to reign in the land, all Christians must convert to Islam. Allah has tasked all Muslims in Quran 9:29 to continue to attack Jews and Christians who refuse to believe in him and his messenger, Prophet Mohammed.” Thus spoke Abu Qaqa, of the Muslim jihad group locally nicknamed Boko Haram, meaning “Western education is forbidden”, who call themselves The Group of Al-Sunna For Preaching and Jihad ( 17 July 2012)

Egypt’s grand mufti, Ali Gomaa, the highest Muslim religious authority in the world, said: “Muslims must kill non-believers wherever they are unless they convert to Islam.” (Citizen Warrior)

At a rally in Cairo in August 2011, Salah Soltan, formerly of Columbus, Ohio, declaimed: “Whoever meets a Zionist in Egypt, it is his right to kill him.” (RightSide News, 21 January 2012).

Ayatollah Khomeini said “Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.” (PJMedia, 1 April 2010). Osama bin Laden wrote: “Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit…? Yes.” (, 28 June 2011)

These pronouncements are not dry theory. Week after week Islamic jihadis slaughter, bomb, stab, burn, and shoot non-Muslims in Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and so on. The internet contains graphic footage of deliberate killings, such as that of Sudanese Mohammed Mansour, a convert to Christianity, who, his hands tied behind him, had his head publicly hacked off with a knife (

As the Syrian interpreter, above, explained, “It is the reality.”

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The Manual of Islamic Law is available as a free download:

For previous essays by Michael Copeland, see the Michael Copeland Archives.

10 thoughts on “Islam: The Learning Curve

  1. Koran 9:5 (amongst many others) gives the clear instruction:
    “….kill the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. This is the definition of Murder One with special circumstances (Hate Crime).
    But if they should repent [convert to Islam], establish prayer, and give zakat [tithe money], let them [go] their way.” This is the definition of extortion.
    What’s with our Judiciary???

    • yes, and islam is not only about extortion. they take away your money, your future, your past, your children, your home, your art and your everything. the day will come that your children will feel the need to sink their teeth in tarmac and cry but none can be found. kick them out of your lands or die. if anyone thinks it can’t happen to them, he is a total idiot.

  2. Know your enemy and know yourself. Otherwise, you’ll always be as clueless and unprepared as that journalist.

  3. It’s not so new that Islam is imperial and intolerant. Of course, Judaism and Christianity have existed for thousands of years under Islam as dhimmi religions, sometimes with a significant degree of prosperity. Religions that are not “of the book” but which have had the misfortune to encounter Islam have had a mixed existence: Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastraism for example.

    The political discussions in the US are plainly not being driven by logic. Logically, a small, very small, number of Muslims in a society may not do harm. But, in fact, most political contests in a republic are very close to even; a political approach that is deeply unpopular just wouldn’t survive. Therefore, the number of people who are able to exert tremendous influence can be very small if they vote as a group and vote on a single issue. So, eventually you get to the Democrats race to the left, where the positions of the candidates surpass any possible trace of sanity. They are following the fringe of the fringe, which is seen as decisive in a close battle for the nomination.

    • “Of course, Judaism and Christianity have existed for thousands of years under Islam as dhimmi religions,” – Islam is less than 2,000 years old.

  4. nothing the muslim believes such as the three choices a person has. they are the same as communism: you can join the party, you can be sent to a labor camp or you can be killed. that is why islam is just communism with a god. any wonder liberals embrace it?

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