Saving the Quran from Michael Adebolajo

Michael Adebolajo will probably go down in history as the first terrorist who sought to be filmed before the police arrived. I looked for the video on Youtube and was fortunate enough to find a more complete version in which Adebolajo mentions the Quran. He said something along the lines of the Quran commanding Muslims to take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. ‘Look it up’, he told his audience, ‘it’s in Sura Tauba’.

Right away I knew what school of thought Adebolajo belonged to – the Jihadis. They were notorious at chopping and changing the Quran to fit their agenda. The tricks they use (which will be described and thoroughly rebutted below) are simply nefarious – and Adebolajo fell for it. Today, in his first appearance in court, he came with a copy of the Quran. I could not forget this fact because the media repeated it at every turn.

I am a Quranist in my approach to Islam. What this means is that I reject the authority of Traditional Islam and read the Quran for myself. I believe everyone should read the Quran for himself or herself and interpret it according to their understanding. Therefore, I cannot deny that Adebolajo has the right to carry about the Quran. I do not own the text and neither does he. However, as a Muslim, it breaks my heart to see such an evil man be associated with the scripture of my religion. It was a perfect media moment today and I guess the fact that Adebolajo was clutching the Quran was mentioned about twenty times. The Quran will thus be etched in the mind of the viewer very strongly indeed – it is a book which terrorists uphold.

However, does Adebolajo have an actual ideological connection with the Quran? I would contend that he does not. I would further say that he is a traitor to the teachings of the Quran. His usage of the Quran is much like the other Islamofascists and Jihadis which is merely symbolic. It is to show a connection with the world heritage from which Jihadis get their language (though not their ideology) – the World of Islam. What gives me reason to say this? The fact the Quran itself never uses the word ‘jihad’ to mean ‘fighting’! The Quranic jihad to me is about exerting effort to bring about peace and justice which is the path of Allah. Adebolajo is more of an anti-jihadist, if anything. He has brought chaos to the nation and triggered violence and hate to the people whom he calls ‘our people’, the Muslims.

His tenuous connection can be seen with the aforementioned video from the day of the murder. He claims that the Quran teaches an ‘eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’. He must have swallowed what the hate preacher said wholesale because in their own Traditionalist reading, that statement is a quotation in the Quran about the Torah! You may check this for yourself in the Quran, Chapter 5 Verse 45 (and not in Chapter 9 as Adebolajo claimed in the video!) Therefore, in the reading from his own school of thought, Adebolajo was following the teachings of the Jews, the people whom Jihadis normally despise and blame for everything. Moreover, did he actually read to the end of that verse? The end of Chapter 5 Verse 45 praises those who forgive the wrongdoings of others. It says what whoever goes beyond the ‘eye for an eye’ stage, it becomes an expiation for him and thus a means of salvation. Why didn’t Adebolajo choose this route if he truly sought the good pleasure of Allah? My guess is he probably didn’t know about this.  Jihadis are rarely allowed to read the Quran for themselves. The hate preacher will be kind enough to read it on his behalf.

What about teachings of the Quran which Adebolajo ignored? He went against hundreds if not thousands of verses which preach against his heinous act. Chapter 4 Vs 86 for example, calls upon the believer to treat those who treat them positively in a better way or at the very least, in an equivalent way. Adebolajo’s family seemed to have settled well here. The Adebolajo children have tertiary education and the family home seems very nice indeed. Therefore, it is Michael Adebolajo’s duty as one who believes in the Quran to be a productive member of society. Instead he followed the teachings of the Islamofascists and brought chaos to this nation. He has therefore betrayed the Quran in that regard.

Another teaching he has ostensibly ignored is that of the covenant or agreement. As believers, we are to honour all our agreements. Indeed, success as believers includes the guarding of one’s covenant (The Quran, Chapter 23, Verses 1-11). This covenant would include our social contract that is to obey all his laws. If Adebolajo chose to renounce this covenant, he would have had to make a formal declaration that he is now at war with the nation and should be removed at once. He would then need to start in the nation of his choice and make his way to the UK. Border control would have then saved us all the hassle!

So this begs the question, how do Jihadis pull off their interpretation? To a large extent, it is simply by taking advantage of ignorance. The Quran is touted as an impenetrable book for which Muslims must study numerous other ‘sciences’ before they can grasp its message. Of course, when the Jihadis themselves use the Quran, it’s a whole other story. Possibly the most unethical tool the Jihadis use is the concept of abrogation. In this concept which they obtained from Traditional Islam (but use in a far more radical way), the Quran’s verses are said to cancel out each other because the Quran is said to have descended gradually to Prophet Muhammad.

For the Jihadis, the verse of the Quran called ‘the verse of the sword’ (Chapter 9 Verse 29) is said to abrogate a hundred other verses! Why this hyperbole? Obviously because the Quran radically emphasises peace, acceptance and harmony! The Jihadis want all that out of the way so they claim that this ‘verse of the sword’ cancels those other verses. In reality, the Quran itself does not support the idea of abrogation. The so-called ‘verse of the sword’ is a command to fight against those take away the sanctity of life – in other words, a command to fight people like Adebolajo himself! Read it in its proper context and you will see. Unfortunately with Jihadis, the only jihad (struggle) they fail to exert is the struggle to question their hate preachers when they read the Quran!

This act by Michael Adebolajo – to associate with the Quran during his trial – represents a watershed in our struggle against Islamophobia. The Muslims can expect to endure greater insults against our holy book thanks to this monster. What we need to do is get educated. Read the various interpretations and the counter arguments against the Jihadist reading. Indeed, the only way for their reading to appear credible is if one were blind as a bat. We need to show how the Quran can work for the good of any society. That is not a book of religious dogma but rather spiritual evolution. Books like the Tao Teh Ching and the Bhagavad Gita have surmounted this limitation – it is time for the Quran to do so as well.