Get Answer Christian and Muslim Justifications for Holy War.
Augustine of Hippo (d. 430) was perhaps the most influential early Christian theologian. Early Christian thought was strongly pacifist as the New Testament clearly commands: “I say unto you, that you resist not evil: but if anyone strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the left also.” (Luke 6:29) In contrast, Augustine developed a justification for Christian violence. Although he quoted biblical examples, his argument derives from the ancient Roman conception of just war. The sacred book of Islam, the Qur’an, consists of the prophet Mohammed’s recitations of his visions of Allah. These excerpts about war and the relations of Muslims with other faiths have the status in Islam of the direct words of God.
According to these passages, what makes war acceptable for a Christian or a Muslim? How do Augustine’s justifications for war compare with those of the Qur’an? How does the Qur’an distinguish between Islam and Christianity? Support your response with your analysis of the following passages.
Augustine of Hippo: [The] account of the wars of Moses will not excite surprise or abhorrence, for in wars carried on
by divine command, he showed not ferocity but obedience; and God, in giving the command, acted not in cruelty, but in righteous retribution, giving to all what they deserved, and warning those who needed warning. What is the evil in war? Is it the death of some who will soon die in any case, that others may live in peaceful subjection?
This is mere cowardly dislike, not any religious feeling. The real evils in war are love of violence, revengeful cruelty, fierce and implacable enmity, wild resistance, and the lust of power, and such like; and it is generally to punish these things, when force is required to inflict the punishment, that, in obedience to God or some lawful authority, good men undertake wars, when they find themselves in such a position as regards to conduct of human affairs, that right conduct requires them to act or to make others act, in this way.”
The Qur’an on Religious War
190. You shall fight in the cause of god against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors. 191. You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you, for oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the sacred mosque, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for such disbelievers.
113. They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture [that is, Jews and Christians as well as Muslims], there are those who are righteous. They recite God’s revelations through the night, and they fall prostrate.
13. Also those who said, “We are Christians,” we took their covenant. But they disregarded some of the commandments given to them. Consequently, we condemned them to animosity and hatred among themselves, until the day of resurrection. God will then inform them of everything they had done.
9. God enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.