This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also read the previous post in this multi-post article here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.While the Koran is charitable to Christians in some of its writing, in other places it warns Muslims regarding, not just the Christian faith, but against Christians themselves.
"O believers, if you obey a sect of those who have been given the Book, they will turn you, after you have believed, into unbelievers." (Koran 3:95)
"Many of the People of the Book wish they might restore you as unbelievers, after you have believed, in the jealousy of their souls, after the truth has become clear to them; yet do you pardon and be forgiving, till God brings His command; truly God is powerful over everything." (Koran 2:103)The Koran claims that Christian motives to convert Muslims are centered in jealousy; they are jealous of the truth the Muslims have and the fact that the world is turning to Islam instead of Christianity. Where they had once been the religion du jour, there is now a new religion and they are jealous of that fact. The Koran also warns Muslims that Christians will never accept them or be content with them unless they convert.
"Never will the Jews be satisfied with thee, neither the Christians, not till thou followest their religion." (Koran 2:114)
"Ha, there you are; you love them, and they love you not; you believe in the Book, all of it, and when they meet you they say, 'We believe,' but when they go privily, they bite at you their fingers, enraged." (Koran 3:115)It is interesting to note that the same could be said today of many who claim to Muslim throughout the world and who insist on the conversion of others to Islam.
In the Koran's depiction of Christians and their zeal to convert others, it paints a picture of one whose desire for the conversion of others is anything but love. It depicts Christians as being enraged, jealous, and indifferent towards Muslims, Arabs in general, and their faith.
"Those unbelievers of the People of the Book and the idolaters wish not that any good should be sent down upon you from your Lord; but God singles out for His mercy whom He will; God is of bounty abounding." (Koran 2:99)To be fair, this may well have been the nature of the Christians that Muhammad had come to know, but his claims are that this is the opinion of God, not his own.
Because of his views towards Christians, Muhammad, in the name of Allah, commands Muslims to avoid and disassociate with all Christians and Jews lest they too should become one like them.
"O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Whoso of you makes them his friends is one of them. God guides not the people of the evildoers." (Koran 5:56)
"O believers, take not as your friends those of them, who were given the Book before you, and the unbelievers [infidels], who take your religion in mockery and as a sport." (Koran 5:62)This stands in contrast to the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles who taught us to love all people.
"may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you" (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
"So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." (Galatians 6:10)
In the end, as Muhammad's negative view of Christianity deepened, the Koran ends up advocating full on war and oppression of Christians and Jews. Muhammad goes from respecting Christians to killing Christians.
"Fight [make war upon] those [to whom the scriptures have been given and] who believe not in God and the Last Day and do not forbid what God and His Messenger [Apostle] have forbidden -- such men as practise not [profess not a profession of] the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled." (Koran 9:29)
Such suras seem incongruous with previous suras that speak respectfully of Christians and Jews, but they are completely congruous with the life and history of Muhammad and the religion he founded.
More to come...