The UN Lies About Islam

By Raymond Ibrahim Published on March 24, 2023

In a recent article, we saw the UN’s accusations concerning the West’s alleged “Islamophobia.” In this article, we explore the UN’s even more outrageous lies concerning Islam, particularly in those two all-important spheres: doctrine and history.

During his speech “focusing attention — and calling for action — to stamp out the poison of Islamophobia,” António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, said:

For well over a millennium, Islam’s message of peace, compassion, and grace has inspired people the world over.

Death and Destruction in the Name of Jihad

Actually, for well over a millennium, Islam caused mass havoc — death and destruction in the name of jihad — beginning in its Arabian homeland, and then spilling into the world at large. One century after the death of Muhammad in 632, Islam had, through violent conquest, swallowed up some three-quarters of Christendom — all of North Africa and southwest Asia — and by 732 was in the heart of Europe, destroying, slaughtering, plundering, and enslaving.

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By the fourteenth century, Muslims had, after centuries of warfare, finally managed to conquer eastern Europe. By the sixteenth century, Muslim slave raiders had reached and returned with slaves from Iceland. By the seventeenth century, Vienna was on the verge of being conquered. By the eighteenth century, Muslim slavers provoked the newborn United States of America into its first war as a nation.

All of this was well known until quite recently. In the words of historian Bernard Lewis:

For almost a thousand years, from the first Moorish landing in Spain [711] to the second Turkish siege of Vienna [1683], Europe was under constant threat from Islam. All but the easternmost provinces of the Islamic realm had been taken from Christian rulers. … North Africa, Egypt, Syria, even Persian-ruled Iraq, had been Christian countries, in which Christianity was older and more deeply rooted than in most of Europe. Their loss was sorely felt and heightened the fear that a similar fate was in store for Europe.

Or, in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt, an accomplished student of history:

Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought. If the peoples of Europe in the seventh and eighth centuries, and on up to and including the seventeenth century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be exterminated. Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared.

Historians have estimated that tens of millions of Europeans were either killed or enslaved during Islam’s millennium of “peace, compassion, and grace,” to quote the UN secretary-general. Violence against Christian Europe continued until and was the reason for the colonial era — an ascendant Europe’s way of neutralizing and trying to civilize Islam.

There was never a time since Islam’s birth when a Muslim polity could invade and conquer its non-Muslim neighbors, but didn’t in the name of “[Muslim] tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding,” again to quote Guterres. Anyone who doubts this can consult either of two heavily documented books, here and here.

The Cherry-Picking Secretary-General

The UN secretary-general continues by claiming that “The very word Islam derives from the same root word — salam/peace.”

This too is incorrect. In Arabic, various words that are sometimes connected in meaning are formed from the same three-lettered roots. Out of the root s-l-m, we get several words, including salam, which means “safety” and “peace,” and islam, which means “submission.” The connection here is clear. In Islam, peace and safety are achieved through — and only through — submission to its authority.

Next, the UN secretary-general cites — and gushes over — the Koran in his attempt to prove Islam’s benevolent nature:

I saw the modern manifestation of what is found in the Surah Al-Tawbah of the Holy Quran: ‘And if anyone seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he can hear the words of God. Then escort him where he can be secure [Koran 9:6].’

This protection should be accorded to believers and non-believers alike, again, according to the Holy Quran.

What a remarkable articulation of refugee protection centuries ago before the 1951 Refugee Convention!

The Koran’s True Position Toward the Non-Muslim

Once again, reality is different. Koran 9:6, which Guterres cites here, is conditional on the verse that immediately precedes it — and which was conveniently omitted. According to Koran 9:5, Muslims are commanded to:

Kill the polytheists wherever you find them; capture them, besiege them, and lie in wait for them on every way.

Discussing these and similar Koran verses, Professor Majid Khadduri of John Hopkins University, wrote in his War and Peace in the Law of Islam:

No compromise is permitted with those who fail to believe in Allah; they have either to accept Islam or fight. In several Quranic injunctions, the Muslims are under the obligation to ‘fight the polytheists wherever you may find them [9:5]’; to ‘fight those who are near to you of the polytheists, and let them find in you harshness [9:124]’; and ‘when you meet those who misbelieve, strike off their heads until you have massacred them’ [47:4].

In the hadith, the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared: ‘I am ordered to fight the polytheists until they say: There is no god but Allah.’ All the jurists, perhaps without exception, assert that polytheism and Islam cannot exist together; the polytheists, who enjoin other gods with Allah, must choose between war or Islam.

Such is Islam’s true position concerning the non-Muslim. Meanwhile, here is the cherry-picking secretary-general of the UN waxing passionately about how the Koran offers “a remarkable articulation of refugee protection centuries ago before the 1951 Refugee Convention.”

All of this is more proof that, whenever the “Left” — well exemplified by the UN — opens its mouth, not only does it lie, but it says the exact opposite of the truth.


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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