The famed expert in Islam, Robert Spencer, has taken me and Aleteia to task in thiscolumn asking for an apology for an “extraordinarily misleading article.” I’m afraid I cannot offer Mr. Spencer an apology, but I can offer an apologia: that is a defense and an explanation.
I suspect he and many readers believe me to be too soft on Islam. They only need to connect to my blog here and read my recent posts on ISIS and the Islamic sex abuse scandals in Britain to see that I am not soft on the horrors of Islamic violence. Those who have a taste for denunciations and imprecations against Islam will be satisfied if they read those posts.
The question remains, however, whether the Quran commands beheadings. There is no question that Saudi Arabia uses beheading as a means of capital punishment. Neither can it be denied, as Mr. Spencer and others have pointed out, that the prophet Muhammad himself beheaded hundreds. I acknowledged this fact in a recent blog post. Mr. Spencer points out, “There are just two problems with this: the Quran and Islamic law. Fr. Longenecker does not mention, and probably doesn’t know, what is actually the primary Quran verse that Islamic jihadists and supremacists use to justify beheading: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” — Quran 47:4.
Written by Dwight Longenecker
Read more at Aleteia