Friday, February 23, 2007

Martin Luther on the Jihad

In the early 16th century, nearly a hundred years after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turkish Sultan, the Turks had overrun much of the Balkans and recently subdued Hungary. The Germanic principalities in Central Europe were threatened by the Turkish advance, but their customary fractiousness — and the advent of the Protestant Reformation — had made it that much harder for Christendom to unite and repel the invaders.

In 1528, Martin Luther had no way of knowing that a century and half later the Christian states of Europe would unite long enough to drive the Turks back from the Gates of Vienna. In his day, Europe was up for grabs.

Here are some excerpts from what Luther had to say about Islam, and the necessity for a robust military defense of Christendom, from Vom Kriege wider die Türken (On War Against the Turk):

Martin LutherI have some pieces of Mohammed’s Koran which might be called in German a book of sermons or doctrines of the kind that we call pope’s decretals. When I have time, I must put it into German so that every man may see what a foul and shameful book it is. In the first place, he praises Christ and Mary very much as those who alone were without sin, and yet he believes nothing more of Christ than that he is a holy prophet, like Jeremiah or Jonah, and denies that he is God’s Son and true God. Besides, he does not believe that Christ is the Savior of the world, Who died for our sins, but that He preached to His own time, and completed His work before His death, just like any other prophet.

On the other hand, he praises and exalts himself highly and boasts that he has talked with God and the angels, and that since Christ’s office of prophet is now complete, it has been commanded to him to bring the world to his faith and if the world is not willing, to compel it or punish it with the sword; and there is much glorification of the sword in it. Therefore, the Turks think their Mohammed much higher and greater than Christ, for the office of Christ has ended and Mohammed’s office is still in force.

From this anyone can easily observe that Mohammed is a destroyer of our Lord Christ and His kingdom, and if anyone denies concerning Christ, that He is God’s Son and has died for us, and still lives and reigns at the right hand of God, what has he left of Christ? Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Baptism, the Sacrament, Gospel, Faith and all Christian doctrine and life are gone, and there is left, instead of Christ, nothing more than Mohammed with his doctrine of works and especially of the sword. That is the chief doctrine of the Turkish faith in which all abominations, all errors, all devils are piled up in one heap.

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In the second place, the Turk’s Koran, or creed, teaches him to destroy not only the Christian faith, but also the whole temporal government. His Mohammed, as has been said, commands that ruling is to be done by the sword, and in his Koran the sword is the commonest and noblest work.

Thus the Turk is, in truth, nothing but a murderer or highwayman, as his deeds show before men’s eyes. St. Augustine calls other kingdoms, too, great robbery; Psalm 76:4 also calls them “fastnesses of robbers,” because it is but seldom that an empire has come up except by robbery, force, and wrong; or at the very least, it is often seized and possessed by wicked people without any justice, so that the Scriptures, in Genesis 10:9, call the first prince upon earth, Nimrod, a mighty hunter. But never has any kingdom come up and become so mighty by murder and robbery as that of the Turk; and he murders and robs every day, for it is commanded in their law, as a good and divine work, that they shall rob and murder, devour and destroy more and more those that are round about them; and they do this, and think that they are doing God service. Their government, therefore, is not a regular rulership, like others, for the maintenance of peace, the protection of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, but a rod of anger and a punishment of God upon the unbelieving world, as has been said. The work of murdering and robbing pleases the flesh in any case, because it enables men to gain high place and subject everyone’s life and goods to themselves; how much more must the flesh be pleased when this is a commandment, as though God would have it so and it pleased Him well! Therefore among the Turks, too, they are held the best who are diligent to increase the Turkish kingdom and who are constantly murdering and robbing round about them.


All fanatics, as a rule, when the spirit of lies has taken possession of them and led them away from the true faith, have been unable to stop there, but have followed the lie with murder and taken up the sword, as a sign that they were children of the father of all lies and murder…


Summing up what has been said: Where the spirit of lies is, there is also the spirit of murder, though he may not get to work or may be hindered. If he is hindered, he still laughs and is jubilant when murder is done, and at least consents to it, for he holds it right. But good Christians do not rejoice over any murder, not even over the misfortunes of their enemies. Since, then, Mohammed’s Koran is such a great spirit of lies that it leaves almost nothing of Christian truth remaining, how could it have any other result than that it should become a great and mighty murderer, with both lies and murders under the show of truth and righteousness. As, therefore, lies destroy the spiritual order of faith and truth, so murder destroys all temporal order instituted by God; for where murder and robbery are practiced, it is impossible that there should be a fine, praiseworthy temporal government, since they cannot think more highly of peace than of war and murder, or attend to the pursuits of peace, as one can see in soldiers. Therefore, the Turks do not regard the work of agriculture highly.

The third point is that Mohammed’s Koran thinks nothing of marriage, but permits everyone to take wives as he will. Therefore, it is customary among the Turks for one man to have ten or twenty wives and to desert or sell any of them that he will, when he will, so that in Turkey women are held immeasurably cheap and are despised; they are bought and sold like cattle. Although there may be some few who do not take advantage of this law, nevertheless this is the law and anyone can follow if he will. Such a way of living is not marriage and cannot be marriage, because none of them takes a wife or has a wife with the intention of staying with her forever, as though the two were one body, as God’s Word says, in Genesis 2:24, “The man shall cleave to his wife and they two be one body.”


Now we have heard above what kind of man the Turk is, viz., a destroyer, enemy, and blasphemer of our Lord Jesus Christ, who instead of the Gospel and faith, sets up his shameful Mohammed and all kinds of lies, ruins all temporal government and home-life, or marriage, and, since his warfare is nothing but murder and bloodshed, is a tool of the devil himself.


Just so Mohammed treats the Gospel; he declares that it is indeed true, but has long since served its purpose; also that it is too hard to keep, especially on the points where Christ says that one is to leave all for His sake, love God with the whole heart, and the like.

Therefore God has had to give another new law, one that is not so hard and that the world can keep, and this law is the Koran. But if anyone asks why he does no miracles to confirm this new law, he says that that is unnecessary and of no use, for people had many miracles before, when Moses’ law and the Gospel arose, and did not believe. Therefore his Koran did not need to be confirmed by wasted miracles, but by the sword, which is more effective than miracles. Thus it has been, and still is the case among the Turks, that everything is done with the sword, instead of with miracles.

We hear a lot these days about the necessity for becoming more educated about Islam, as if a fuller acquaintance with the Islamic faith would make the Legions of the Prophet seem less threatening and dangerous.

We can see from these excerpts that the opposite is the case. Martin Luther was very well-educated in the scripture of the Mohammedans, and it only served to confirm to him that their religion was in fact demonic, a worldly manifestation of pure evil.

We would do well to heed his words.

Hat tip: Kepiblanc, in the comments.


"Hunter" said...

Very telling... This observation of the "prophet" is frighteningly true.

Profitsbeard said...

Not even Lutherans are preaching this sermon.


The p.c. cowards of every infidel doctrine are too busy gelding themselves, their faith and their Civilization to learn the history of the pedophile warlord, and arm themselves with the hard truth.

The sword will have to get nearer their necks before they wake.

9/11 was the first cut.

It didn't stung enough.

Captain USpace said...

This is excellent, very revealing in a straight forward way. Keep spreading the word. This was worth it's own link in my library.

Btw, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was on the panel on HBO's 'Real Time With Bill Maher' tonight, I believe she really got through to his Leftie audience. Bill was hanging on her every word. There is hope. I recommend catching it sometime this week.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe
says Islam is BEST

supported by liberals
against all that they stand for

Sonar said...

Thank you so much,

Francis W. Porretto said...

Yet there are highly intelligent men, including such noteworthies as Glenn Reynolds, who claim that Luther's interpretation of the Qur'an and the teachings of Muhammad is a tragic oversimplification.

--The creed teaches violence and subjugation.
--Where Islam is dominant, the practice of other religions is forbidden, and its shari'a law code is ruthlessly and barbarically enforced.
--The history of Islam's relations with other faiths and ways is drenched with blood.
--The present day attitude of Islam toward "Dar al-Harb" is hostile and sporadically quite violent.
--Muslim spokesmen worldwide have admitted that their intention is to make Islam the only authority, religious or temporal, on Earth.

So where are we oversimplifying? Equally to the point, does the onus of this tragedy fall on us...or on them?

Knute said...

The religion of the Muslims hasn’t changed since the days of Luther. Terrorism and criminality speaks for itself. However, the religion of the Lutherans has changed. Our bishops wouldn’t dare to express themselves as frankly as Luther did. They are timid like everyone nowadays and not to be sued for persecution of an ethnic minority they have to weight every word.
For some reason Islam here in Sweden is looked upon not only as a religion but also an ethnic minority. That’s what threats can bring about, you cannot find faults with Islam, but you can freely make fun of Christianity and Christendom. I suspect the purpose is islamisation, quietly and silently.

Knute said...

By the way, yesterday the Quran was reported to the danish police. So there's still hope.

Plateau said...

Baron & Dymphna,


Take a look at my blog please. Feedback is appreciated.

jimmytheklaw said...

care to provide some footnotes i'd like to read more on luther and read the excerpts from the full book or paper

Baron Bodissey said...

Jimmy -- the link is at the top, in the italicized title. That's all I have.

History Snark said...

USpace: Do you really think that she got through to anyone there? When they leave, do you think that in their hearts they will say "Gosh, she was right. I need to go forth and learn more about Islam"?

I'm too cynical- I'll believe it when I see it.

BTW, what did she have to say?

kepiblanc said...

Jimmy, lots of Luther-stuff :

Unknown said...

Had dinner with a couple of mohammedan guys last night, decent, relatively irreligious guys. Mostly we were celebrating the victory of the Nicks at the garden. (Amazing last minute save).

So later in the evening after many adult beverages the conversation turned to more grave matters, and the subject of mohammedanism came up.

So I asked them, in more or less these words -- I have the impression that there are 2 relatively separate subjects covered in your various holy books, one is the matter of your personal private inner life and morality, and the other is the subject of politics and military matters, do you think my impression is correct?

I made a great point of steering clear of questions of "interpretation", and the goodness or badness of the message, and held the focus on whether the subjects of private morality and politico/military matters coexisted in their books as distinct areas.

Only, I asked, are political and military matters DISCUSSED? -- and therefore sitting there in the books, waiting to be considered and/or interpreted.

Mirabile Dictu! Once it sank in they fell silent!

They had never actually considered looking at the normal religioius-morality parts of the Koran etc..., as separate from the political and military dicta and history -- and therefore open to view as having different value and weight, being susceptible to a different approach and handling.

I got the feeling that privately (this could just be my imagination) they were mulliing "hey, I could get off the hook with this, I could just say those parts don't count".

Because they were clearly uncomfortable with the idea that the obligation to kill unbelievers is generally lumped right in with honor your father and mother.

I hope it stayed with them.

Call me naive, but I see an opportunity in this.

Unknown said...

gun-totin-wacko, you can see a clip of Hirsi Ali on the Bill Maher show here:


History Snark said...

Thanks Sheol. I didn't think that she was viewed as favorably as was suggested, but okay. The biggest cheer seemed to be when she implicitly criticised Iraq. She did shoot down the congressman, which was good.

Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted you and linked to you here:

Kiddo said...

Excellent read, thank you for posting! This idea that theological criticism of the Koran is out of bounds or only taken on by lunatics is most absurd, and examples such as this are nice reminders to all of us that it is just not the case.

Thank you again, I will definitely pass this link on.

wabbadi said...

You forgot to post too what Martin Luther said about the Jews, check it out ppl :

It's really very interesting to read .. read & learn!.