You're Cherry-Picking Verses Out of the Quran

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Answers to Objections When Discussing Islam
By Citizen Warrior
1. But it is Just a Small Minority of Extremists
2. My Friend is a Muslim and He's Really Nice
3. What You're Saying Is Racist
4. Aren't You Being Religiously Intolerant?
5. Christianity Is Just As Bad
6. Not All Muslims Are Terrorists
7. We Can't Go to War With 1.3 Billion Muslims!
8. Are You An Islamophobe?
9. Isn't This Bigotry?
10. Are You a Hatemonger?
11. You Should Really Talk to a Muslim
12. But There Are Peaceful Passages in the Quran
13. You Can Justify Anything Quoting Out of Context
14. Millions of Muslims in This Country and They're Not Blowing Things Up
15. My Family and My Community is Muslim, and None of Us Are Terrorists
16. Fundamentalism is Fundamentalism
17. Mosques, Synagogues and Churches Stood Side-By-Side in Peace
18. You're Taking Quran Verses Out of Context
19. But Jihad is an Internal Struggle
20. Criticism Will Turn Moderates into Extremists
21. You're Cherry-Picking Verses
22. You Are a Xenophobe
23. Majority of Muslims are Peaceful
24. Better to Support the Peaceful Muslims?
25. What Can We Do About It?

This article is the twenty-first in a series, where we explore the responses you get when you start talking to people about Islamic supremacism and the third jihad.


"You're cherry-picking verses out of the Qur'an." I've never actually heard anyone say this in a conversation, but I've heard this said in writing many times. The person saying it usually thinks they know a lot about Islam, but they don't, and the objection is a great opportunity to give some really good information about Islam.


The Qur'an is considered by Muslims as Islam's most holy book. Sixty-one percent of the Qur'an is about non-Muslims. Writings about what Muslims should do is religious. Writings about what non-Muslims should do or how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims is political (read more about this distinction). Therefore, based on Islam's most holy book, Islam is more political (61%) than religious (39%).

There are 245 verses in the Qur'an that could be considered "positive verses" about non-Muslims. Every single one of those verses have been abrogated by later, negative verses about non-Muslims. Not one positive verse about non-Muslims is left.

In contrast, there are 527 verses of intolerance toward non-Muslims, and 109 verses specifically advocating violence towards non-Muslims. Not one of these verses has been abrogated.

Even if you completely ignore the Qur'an and only look at what Muslims actually do in the Muslim world, the conclusion is the same. Whenever Muslims get a large enough minority to seize the reigns of power and impose their will, they treat non-Muslims horribly, and eventually drive out non-Muslims or subjugate them, or set up conditions that cause non-Muslims to convert to Islam just to relieve the burden of dhimmitude.

The end result is 56 countries in the world that consider themselves Islamic (members of the OIC, the largest voting block in the U.N.) and that have ever-decreasing percentages of non-Muslims in their countries because non-Muslims flee, are killed, or convert to relieve the dhimmi burden.

So if I am "cherry-picking" verses out of the Qur'an, apparently Muslims around the world today, and Muslims throughout Islamic history, have cherry-picked in exactly the same way.

The fact is, every Muslim is commanded by Allah to follow the example of Muhammad, an example that was written down in great detail. The Hadith is an enormous written record of what Muhammad said and did. There are two versions of the Hadith, which are very similar, that are considered to be the most authentic by Islamic scholars and the Muslim world throughout its history, one by Sahih Bukhari and the other by Sahih Muslim.

If you count up all references to jihad in Bukhari's voluminous record of Muhammad's life, 97 percent of the passages refer to jihad as bloodshed and warfare against non-Muslims. Three percent of the references are about jihad as an inner struggle. So even if Muslims ignore the Qur'an completely and simply follow Muhammad's example, they would still be violent, aggressive, and intolerant, following the same course as would be described by "cherry-picking verses" out of the Qur'an.

But if this is all true, why are there millions of Muslims in this country who are not blowing things up? That answer can be found here: Objection Number 14.

Further reading[edit]

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