As expected, I received criticism and accusations of ignorance regarding my recent blog post A Plea To Muslims In America. I was also informed that Muslims around the world have publicly condemned the Paris murders. You can read more about that at http://time.com/4112830/muslims-paris-terror-attacks-islam-condemn/.
In an effort to curb my ignorance, I found some brief but educational material at http://www.templemount.org/islam.html. In his well cited, scholarly collection of research A Short Summary of Islamic Beliefs and Eschatology, Lambert Dolphin writes the following:
The objective of jihad is not the conversion of individuals to Islam, but rather gaining of political control over the collective affairs of societies to run them in accordance with the principles of Islam. Individual conversion occurs as a by-product of the power structure of the community passing to the hands of the Muslim community.
Perhaps the least understood element of Islam is the doctrine of jihad (holy war). The classical Islamic position holds that the world is divided into three spheres: the zone of Islam (dar al-Islam); the zone of peace (dar as-sulh—those nations with whom Muslim nations have peace pacts); and the zone of war (dar al-harb—the rest of the world). In modern times the jihad has appeared primarily as a defense against colonialism, rather than as a program of offense.
In The Religion of Islam, a different article on the same web-site, Randall Price writes:
Islam, from its beginning, has been a religion of the sword (al Harb). The concept of Holy War (Jihad), mandated by Allah, requires Islam to completely subdue the earth through military conquest. The world is thus divided between Dar al-Islam (“House of Islam”) and all areas yet unsubdued by Islam, Dar alHarb (“House of War”). All other religions and all other prophets after Mohammed are false, and all non-Muslims are infidels or dhimmi (tolerated minorities under Islamic rule-such as Jews and Christians).
So, who is right, and who is wrong? Was Holy War really mandated by Allah? And, if it’s mandated by Allah, aren’t you as a follower of Islam supposed to obey? Yes, I admit I may be ignorant, but can you really blame me for being confused? Peace, love, dove homies.