According to the Quran of Islam, Muslims may resort to a Jihad, but there is a big difference between a genuine Jihad and a false Jihad, and we should all understand the difference.
A genuine Jihad is a purely defensive struggle or battle against an oppressive, persecuting enemy, but misguided hypocrites and murderers who claim to be Muslims wage an offensive, aggressive false “Jihad.” They have been misguided by theocratic hypocrites who are ignorant of the real message of Muhammad regarding Allah -- which is the Arabic word for the God of Abraham and Jesus, as the Qur'an makes very clear.
Theocratic terrorists pick and choose certain sentences and paragraphs from the Quran to justify themselves (and in that respect they a like theocratic Israeli Zionists and American Christian Dominionists who do the same thing). And misguided Muslims do so because they cling to a doctrine that they believe allows them to focus on verses that would seem to justify them, and simply ignore all the verses that would tell them they are wrong.
Some Quran scholars declare it is a false doctrine, and some have even called it “The Lie of Abrogation.”  But Theocrats, extremists and terrorists believe it enables them to abrogate or nullify any verses in The Quran that do not suit their purposes, and focus on verses that would seem to justify their offensive, murderous acts.
In picking and choosing certain verses from scripture to justify themselves, hypocrites masquerading as Muslims are somewhat similar to extremist Theocrats and hypocrites who masquerade as Christians or Jews, who also believe their religion is superior, and they also cite isolated scriptures to justify themselves while simply ignoring the full context and meaning of their scriptures.
The Qur'an: Its Production, and Meaning In Context
The Qur’an was produced between 610 C.E. and 623 C.E. when Muhammad died. His attitude and tone changed dramatically after he was driven out of Mecca, relocated to Medina and during the last ten years of his life waged war with the Meccans.
The result was that the Qur’an really consists of two different books reflecting Muhammad’s views during two distinct periods. But that is not reflected when the Qur’an was compiled after Muhammad died. Rather than place the Surahs (chapters) in order of production, they were mixed up and placed in an arbitrary order (somewhat like the Christian New Testament was), which is part of the reason there is so much misunderstanding of the full message Muhammad delivered.
In Mecca during the early period following Muhammad's early revelations, many Muslims wanted to fight the Meccans to defend themselves from attack and persecution. However, Muhammad forbid fighting and advised patience, and history shows that despite facing brutal attacks, persecution and economic boycott, all because of Muslim’s faith in Allah, the Muslims did not fight back while they lived in Mecca. They fought only after they escaped to Medina as they were driven out of Mecca by the Meccans. And it was in Medina that Muhammad then ordered verse 22:40-41 to be written:
Qur’an 22:40-41: “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, who have been wronged – and who have been driven out from their homes unjustly only because they professed faith in Allah.”
This verse permits a defensive Jihad. It was written in Medina, and it was the first statement Muhammad made about fighting. It declares that people can defend themselves against attack, or fight back if they have been unjustly driven from their homes, or been driven out because of their religion.
The key point is that permission was granted to fight in self-defense, and to protect universal freedom of conscience. Otherwise, wars — especially preemptive wars and offensive wars of aggression – are forbidden. Every subsequent Quranic verse on “combating disbelievers” or the like should be read and understood in light of that original permission. And there is plenty written in the Qur’an to prove that is the case.
Qur’an 2:256: “There shall be no compulsion or coercion in religion.” That means no one can be compelled or coerced into joining a religion. Furthermore, if people disagree with a Muslim, he is to say: "Unto you your moral law, and unto me, mine." (Qur’an 109:6)
It is worthy to note that Muhammad forbid compulsion and coercion in matters of religion after he had won the war against the Meccans and had thereby become the most influential leader in all of Arabia. And even though he could have forced anyone to become Muslim, he did not. He declared religious freedom.
But that declaration, and Muhammad’s intent, was quickly forgotten or ignored by the Muslim leaders who ruled following Muhammad’s death, and that is obvious in some of what they wrote in the Hadiths, and in their theocratic imperial wars of conquest and coercion.
The point of this article is that terrorists masquerading as Muslims wage a false Jihad by being cruel and offensive, and by committing the unforgivable crime of indiscriminate mass murder.
They claim that the Quran justifies them, and they even claim that suicide bombers are religious martyrs serving Allah. But they violate the Quran as a full body of work. They are not martyrs. And they do not serve Allah or Islam. In fact, they betray Allah and violate core tenets of their religion, and they are hypocrites who have been duped by hypocritical madmen.
Whether they are worse or better than the hypocritical zealots who claim to be Jews or Christians, they too wage so-called “holy war” claiming they are justified by God and their religion's scriptures. But they simply ignore the core tenets of their religion and the true meaning of their scriptures in context.
Of course, critics against Islam say that Muhammad violated his own principles as he resorted to force, violence and killing to build his Islamic empire. But Muhammad’s only war was with the Meccans who persecuted Muslims, and Muhammad believed the war against Meccans was a necessary defensive Jihad. It was only after Muhammad’s death in 632 CE that Muslim leadership became misguided, even more theocratic, and what could be called "Islamic Dominionists" (driven by the same theocratic rationale as "Christian" Dominionists).
That is not to say that Muhammad was perfect or holy, because no man has ever been holy, and no man ever will be holy. Only God is the Holy One. And we should realize that Muhammad (like the main pillars of Judaism and Christianity) was only human. After all, it is even described in the Quran how merciless Muhammad’s war against the Meccans in Badr was. So perhaps in some ways he was not much different from the Jewish and Christian warrior emperors and kings who also waged wars and crusades and killed their fellow Man in order to build their “religious” nations and empires.
That is the nature of the beast in Man, and even those who have sworn that they serve God have fallen into the temptation of egotism, self-importance and self-righteousness, convinced that they are doing the "right" thing. That was the case in ancient times, and it is still the case today.
However, the difference between a real Jihad and a false Jihad should be understood.
Furthermore, Quran Surah 4:29 prohibits suicide and forbids Muslims to kill themselves, which means suicide bombers who murder innocent civilians actually violate the Quran. Yet, in spite of that, hypocritical suicide bombers (and the false shepherds who incite them) ignore that and justify themselves with certain sentences and paragraphs from the Qur’an that they twist and distort into a false meaning.
For example, Qur'an, Surah 4:74 states: "Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fight in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward."
Somehow, suicide bombers think that justifies them. But that speaks of fighting in "the way of Allah," which is only in self-defense. It speaks of a real Jihad, which is war permitted only in self-defense to fight or ward off a military attack, invasion or occupation, or to fight wicked people who are guilty of persecution and oppression. And that Surah does not speak of resorting to being a suicide bomber or committing indiscriminate mass murder of innocent civilians, which is false Jihad.
Another example is Qur'an, Surah 9:111, which states: "Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs is the garden: they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law (Hebrew Torah), the Gospel (Christian New Testament), and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded: that is the achievement supreme."
That too speaks of real Jihad, fighting a just war and even dying for a just cause, which is to conclude the “bargain” made by being willing to die fighting persecutors, oppressors, and foreign imperialists. However, in no way does it justify being a suicide bomber or committing indiscriminate mass murder of innocent civilians, which is false Jihad.
Qur'an Surahs 2:207, 17:33 and 61:10-12 are also used by terrorists to try to justify themselves, but they are wrong about that too, for the same reasons, because according to the Quran suicide and indiscriminate mass murder is prohibited and wrong.
Therefore, the so-called “Jihad” that has been and is being waged by “suicide bombers” and other murderous zealots claiming to be Muslims, who are responsible for killing or trying to indiscriminately kill as many civilian Israelis as possible, is a False Jihad. It is an abomination is the sight of God/Allah, and it is a betrayal of Islam and its founder, Muhammad.
It is not very much unlike the killings and bombings of buildings and medical clinics by ultra-right-wing zealots in America who claim to be Christians. They also betray God and Christianity, just as surely as the destructive and murderous abuse of power by the Israeli Military is a betrayal of Judaism. And the followers of all three Abrahamic religions should acknowledge that the first commandment is to not kill, and that true Wisdom is far better than weapons of war.
We, the people of the world, must ensure that they are punished for their crimes, just as we must ensure that the Israelis responsible for the war crimes the Israeli military has committed against Palestinians are punished for those crimes, and just as we must ensure that the Americans who are responsible for military war crimes are punished for their crimes.
A true martyr is killed either by bigoted and hypocritical murderers who masquerade falsely as religious “warriors,”or by armed forces that serve corrupt governments. And he is killed for standing up for his beliefs, and for truth. And Jesus was such a martyr.
The murderous, genocidal terrorist organization called ISIS or ISIL or IS claims to be fighting a “Jihad” even though it is extremely aggressive, offensive and brutal, murders innocent people, wages a False Jihad, and betrays many major tenets of Quranic Islam. They are misguided hypocrites who call themselves “Muslims” but are actually hypocrites, thugs, despots, and murderers.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed “Caliph” of ISIS, hates the U.S. because he was imprisoned and tortured in the prisons operated by U.S. agents in 2003 and 2004 when the Bush Regime’s torture campaign was in high gear. Many of Baghdadi’s top brass are former officers from the former army of Saddam Hussein, and when they were able, either after being released from prison or after coming out of hiding, they augmented their military training with terrorist techniques during many years of fighting American troops.
During Bush’s “surge” tactic they simply moved out of the affected areas, and now as ISIS they have expanded ISIS control over Iraq and Syria by conquering and occupying towns and cities near major supply routes, critical infrastructure and border crossings. And millions of dollars in oil revenue have made ISIS one of the wealthiest terror groups in history. As the New York Times has reported, experts estimate the value of the output from the dozen or so oil fields and refineries under ISIS control in Iraq and Syria at $1 million to $2 million a day.
No one should believe that ISIS is a Muslim organization. It’s not. Like all the other brutal murderous thugs and hypocrites who claim to be Muslims fighting a “Jihad,” they wage a False Jihad, and they are not inspired by Allah or by spiritual values. They are driven by revenge, hate, greed, and lust for worldly power, wealth and dominion.
 "The Lie of Abrogation"
As mentioned near the beginning of this article, terrorists waging a false Jihad believe they are justified by the Quran, and that is largely because of verse or surah 2:106.
In many translations of Surah 2:106 it states: “Whatever previous verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We reveal in this Qur'an one better or the like thereof. Do you know not that Allah has full power to do all that He wills?”
“Jihadist” terrorists have been led to believe that means previous judgments or verses can be abrogated, forgotten, or substituted for something “better” or more important. And terrorist leaders assume that they have the authority to ignore certain verses and alter or interpret the message of the Quran to suit their purposes.
However, in some Arabic interpretations and in most English translations of Surah 2:106 the words “verse” and “abrogate” are inappropriate translations of the original Arabic words, and they can be interpreted differently and more accurately. According to some Quran scholars those two words are ayat (or ayah, which is the plural) and nansakh, and the most appropriate meanings of those words are not verse or abrogate.
Here is Surah 2:106 showing where those two words are placed: “Whatever previous ayah We nansakh or cause to be forgotten, We reveal in this Qur'an one better or the like thereof. Do you know not that Allah has full power to do all that He wills?”
First let’s examine the meaning of the word “Ayah” or "Ayat" (plural) because that word as used in various verses in the Quran can have one of four different meanings:
1) A miracle, such as in “We supported Moses with nine profound Ayat (miracles)." (17:101);
2) An example for people to take heed from, such as in “And the folk of Noah, when they disbelieved the messengers, We have drowned them and made them an Ayah (example) for all people" (25:37);
3) A sign, such as in: "My Lord, give me an Ayah (sign)." (19:10); and
4) A verse in the Quran, such as in: "This is a book that We have sent down to you that is sacred, perhaps they will reflect on its Ayat (verses)." (38:29)
Consider Surah 43:46-48 "And We have sent Moses with Our Ayah’s (miracles or signs) to Pharaoh and his elders proclaiming : ‘I am a messenger from the Lord of the universe’. When he brought them our Ayah’s they laughed at him. Every Ayah We showed them was greater than the one that preceded it."
That makes it very clear that the Ayah is clearly a sign or miracle, and each one was greater that the one that preceded it. Thus the phrase “one better” would make sense.
In any case, the word ‘Ayah’ or ‘Ayat’ can mean a miracle or revelation or example or sign, but not a verse in the Quran or a commandment of God, because:
1) The phrase "cause to be forgotten" could not refer to a verse in the Quran or a commandment of God. After all, if a verse had been abrogated it would no longer exist, so it would not be necessary to mention it, and if it did still exist it could not be forgotten;
2) If the word ‘Ayah’ in 2:106 meant a miracle, an example or a sign, then all the words of the verse would make more sense, because they were “bettered” by a greater miracle or revelation or sign;
3) The phrase "Whatever previous verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We reveal in this Qur'an one better or the like thereof" is meaningless, because to “abrogate” or nullify or invalidate or abolish one commandment or verse and replace it with an equal or identical commandment or verse makes no sense whatsoever; and
4) The world “abrogate” is an erroneous translation of the word "Nansakh" or "Nastansikh."
The meaning of the word "Nansakh" in Surah 2:106 comes from the verb "nasakha, and because some Arabic interpretations and many English translations indicate that it meas “to annul” or “abrogate," that interpretation is used by radical Muslim extremists because they take it to mean that the verses and passages that suit their purposes have priority over others that don’t. And that is a very big problem.
However, most meanings of nansakh have nothing to do with abrogation.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammed Yunus has commented that: “Many early theologians took a restrictive meaning of the word ‘ayah’ (plural, ayat) as a ‘verse of the Qur’an’ to suggest that a few verses of the Qur’an have been abrogated. This is simply untenable as it purports to imply that God Almighty, like a human being, changed his mind with the changing context of the revelation. The majority of Muslim scholars hold that the verse clarifies the doubts of the contemporaneous Christians and Jews as to why God should send a succession of revelations.” And other Islamic scholars, like David S. Powers, Ph.D. Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Cornell University agree with that view.
Most religious scholars who study Islam agree that a more common use of nansakh is to mean the transcribing or writing down or recording signs or revelations or miracles.
For example, here are three Quranic verses where that meaning of the word has been used, and in parentheses are the actual meanings of the word in the given context.
Surah 45:29 "This is our book; it utters the truth about you. We have been (writing down or recording) everything you did." In that context, the word “abrogating” would certainly not apply, even though the original Arabic word was nansakh.
Surah 7:154 "When Moses" anger subsided, he picked up the tablets, and in (in its written record or in its words ) is guidance and mercy for those who reverence their Lord." In that context, the word annul or abrogate would make no sense either.
Surah 22:52-53 "We did not send before you any messenger, nor a prophet, without having the devil interfere in his wishes. God then (records or writes) what the devil has done.” In that context, the word annul or abrogate would make no sense either.
Therefore, we should question the motive behind the interpreters’ misinterpretations and the translators’ mistranslations of the meaning of 2:106, because the errors are probably not connected to the Quran at all but to the ‘Hadith’. For the Hadith consists mostly of things that were written after the death of Muhammad, and while some Muslims regard the Hadith as Muhammad's words or "Allah's Word," many Hadith scholars believe the concept of abrogation applies to the Hadith since it contains many blatant contradictions.
It is not accurate to say that the Quran contains no errors or contradictions. Like all religious scriptures written so many centuries ago, it contains the judgments, opinions and views of a man who was only human. And no religious texts are "the absolute Word of God," regardless of what some Jews, Christians and Muslims have been led to believe.
For example, there are verses in the Quran that would seem to indicate that the Quran supersedes what is written in the Hebrew Torah and Tanakh and the Christian Gospels, which is why some proud Muslims believe that Islam is the superior religion. However, if the meaning of those Quranic verses actually indicates that, it would contradict other verses that reveal that Muslims should honor the Jewish and Christian scriptures.
For example: Qur’an 2:136 declares that Muslims should say: "We believe in God and that which is revealed unto us, and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered."