Why do some people dislike Muslims

Sura 5 verse 54The mildness of many liberal Muslims is out of place

"O you who believe! If someone wants to leave his religion, then God will bring people whom he loves and who love him, humble against the believers, severe against the unbelievers who will fight in the way of God."

This verse is interesting for three reasons. First, it underlines the Koranic rejection of a tribal god who is forever associated with a certain community. Second, it affirms the value of love among people and for God. Third, he rejects the zeal of contemporary liberal Muslims who absolutely want to live in harmony with all people.

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The verse first addresses the believers and underlines that their value arises solely from the fact of their faith, from how they treat others and how committed they are to their religion - no matter how condescending or derisive others view their actions. Their community is not one of social or tribal solidarity, but one of faith and practice. Should they give up, they will be lost. Other believers will come and take their place.

Professor Esack lives and teaches in South Africa. (priv.) According to the Koran, God entered into a covenant with Abraham. He promised to make him a "guide for the people". When Abraham then asked him whether the promise also applied to his descendants, God's answer was very brief: "My covenant does not extend to the unrighteous." (2: 124)

Let us come to the second interesting aspect of the Quranic verse to be explained here. Many non-Muslims argue that the God of the Koran is not a God of love. Like many others, the verse confirms exactly the opposite. God is a loving God and he wants to be loved. According to the Koran, however, his love is not unconditional. It is not about a limitlessly cuddly love, because of which one avoids conflicts even in the face of mistakes and injustices.

That brings us to the third important point: Believers are expected to show leniency among one another and be strict with those who reject it. Unlike many liberal Muslims, who insist that Islam is a kind of open tent in which everyone is met with goodwill, these Quran passages require strictness against some people.

And, yes, I myself don't want to be friendly to racists, homophobics, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, misogynists and occupiers. I want to be companionable with those who share my faith. And my faith demands that I open my mouth for justice. However, if I do that, those who act unfairly will not respond kindly. But neither am I interested in treating them mildly - at best as a strategy to weaken their malice. Why not stand up against some people and fight them? Not all forms of combat have to be physical.

In the hands of people who are less liberal - I emphasize "less" liberal - this passage from the Koran thus becomes a convenient argument for that arrogant attitude that says: "I am chosen. You have frozen to ice. It is my sacred mission to de-ice you - even if that means breaking the ice into tens of thousands of pieces. "