A new billboard in St. Louis proclaims:
HEY ISIS, YOU SUCK!!! From: #ActualMuslims. Life is sacred. Koran 5:32.
At last, is this the moderate Islamic movement that the U.S. and the Western world have been so eagerly waiting for? The seemingly invisible movement that the Left says includes the vast majority of Muslims?
Well, not quite — or at all.
This billboard is in St. Louis, not Raqqa. Obviously, the Islamic State isn’t going to see it unless it shows up on their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. If the goal really were to insult the Islamic State to its face, the billboards would indeed be going up in an Islamic State stronghold, and would be in Arabic.
So we already know that the target audience for the billboard is not ISIS at all — it’s non-Muslims.
The goal of this billboard is to reassure Western non-Muslims that Muslims really do oppose the Islamic State and its actions. St. Louis-area Muslim Tariq Malik, one of the organizers of this initiative, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
We as a community are trying to get the word out, you know, that we are as much affected by this ISIS issue. We need to let people know that we are much against ISIS as anyone else, if not more.
These acts are being done in the name of religion, which really has nothing to do with the religion. It just has to do with radical people taking on their own agenda and hijacking the name of Islam.
Unfortunately, the billboard’s argument is completely negated by its reference to Qur’an 5:32. Because the Qur’an does NOT say “life is sacred” in 5:32 — or anywhere else.
Western leaders and Islamic apologists claim wonderful things about 5:32, often referencing it — President Obama has done so himself.
But this is what 5:32 actually says:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel [the Jews] that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption in the land — it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one — it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.
And our messengers had certainly come to them [the Jews] with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them [the Jews!], after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
And here is 5:33, which immediately follows:
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth corruption [the Jews, naturally] is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land.
That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.
“Life is sacred,” huh.
First: note that 5:32 is NOT a general prohibition of killing. On the contrary, 5:32 details when a Muslim is not allowed to kill, but also when a Muslim is allowed to kill. Muslims are allowed to kill to avenge “a soul or for corruption in the land.”
Second: note that 5:32 is not a general command. This command is only for and about the Children of Israel — the Jews.
Third: “[M]any of them, after that … were transgressors.” Allah gave a command to the Jews, but the Jews transgressed against it.
Thus, 5:32 and 5:33 explain what must be done to punish Jews who reject Muhammad. Objectively, the passages could not possibly stray any further from the billboard’s statement that 5:32 implies “life is sacred.”
Ibn Warraq sums it up:
The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. “Behave, or else” is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated, and banished!
Muslims in the St. Louis area do not have access to ANY programs in mosques or Islamic schools that teach young Muslims why they should reject the understanding of Islam taught by the Islamic State. With the Islamic State continuing to recruit young Muslims from the U.S., that is a grave and telling omission.
This billboard in St. Louis — which is set to be rolled out nationwide in the near future — is not what it appears to be.
In reality, it is a continuation of the ongoing effort to make sure that Americans remain ignorant and complacent about the true ideological roots, nature, and magnitude of the jihad threat. That, to use the billboard’s parlance, is what “sucks.”