After a murderous jihad at Fort Hood or the Christmas day airplane bombing attempt, did you hear: "Of course, not all Muslims are bad?" That brings up the question of how do you even tell if a Muslim is bad? Or good?
First off, what is a Muslim? A Muslim is a person who follows the doctrine of Islam. When that same person, does something that does not follow the doctrine of Islam, they are not a Muslim. The common idea is that anyone who says that they are a Muslim has their every action and word dictated by Islam. Put another way, every Muslim is seen as perfect follower of Islam at all times and circumstances. However, the truth is that a "Muslim" is not always a Muslim. When they do not follow Islamic doctrine, they are no longer a Muslim, but are a kafir (non-Muslim).
Now, how do we know if a Muslim is good or bad? If they are following the Koran and the Sunna (the perfect example of Mohammed), they are a good Muslim. If they don't follow the doctrine, then they are not a Muslim. That means that from the stand point of Islam there is no such thing as a good or bad Muslim. You either are a Muslim or you are not. When anyone follows the Koran and the Sunna, they are Muslim. When anyone does not follow the doctrine of Islam then they are a kafir.
This means that a person called a Muslim has two modes of being-Muslim and kafir, or kafir-Muslim. The same person can be a Muslim in one moment and a kafir in the next.
What do kafirs mean by a good Muslim? Simple, the same way we judge all other people as good and bad-the Golden Rule. Do they follow the Golden Rule when they are with us? If so, then they are a good person.
Since the Koran and the Sunna do not have the Golden Rule, how are Muslims to treat us? Islamic doctrine lays out an alternative to the Golden Rule. Those who do not believe Mohammed are kafirs, and kafirs are treated differently from Muslims.
Islamic doctrine says a great deal about the kafir. Most of the Koran is about kafirs, 61%, only 39% is about Muslims. About 20% of the Hadith is about kafirs and 98% of the Sira is about kafirs. Mohammed was fixated on kafirs and annihilated every kafir by violence, exile or conversion. When Mohammed died, there was not a person alive in Arabia who would argue with him.
Mohammed's actions are pure Islam; therefore, annihilating kafirs and kafir culture is pure Islam. A Muslim has to be, in some way, in some form of action, eliminating kafirs and their world. The action against kafirs is jihad. There are four flavors of jihad and murder is only one. Deception, conversation, articles and TV appearances can be jihad of speech and writing. There is always the option of giving to an Islamic charity, since one of the Koranic uses of charity is jihad.
Every Muslim believes that all nonbelievers are kafirs. The Koran says that kafirs may be hated, plotted against, deceived, murdered, raped, enslaved, mocked and tortured. All of those actions are Islam and perfect doctrine. When a person is being a good Muslim, they are following Islam and that means that you are a kafir. Hate, deception, murder, mockery and torture are bad for kafirs, but good for Muslims.
Kafirs are pure other. Muslims treat other Muslims as brothers and sisters, but they can treat a kafir well or they can treat them as less than an animal. Islam has dualistic ethics, one set of rules for Muslims and another set of rules for kafirs. Dualism is bad. When a Muslim practices dualism, they are bad. There is no good in Islam for a kafir and therefore, there is no good in a Muslim for a kafir.
Does this mean that the Muslim at work is bad? Yes, when they are following the doctrine of Islam. Whenever they are not following Islam, that person can be as good as any other. It is not about people, but about doctrine. It is the doctrine of Islam to be bad to kafirs. When anyone is practicing Islam around a kafir they must be bad, since Mohammed was never good to kafirs.
Wait! What about the nice, pious Muslim at work? He is good, isn't he?
Is he nice because of the Golden Rule or is he practicing the Sunna of the charming Mohammed we find in the early Meccan days? Mohammed could be very polite with kafirs, however, if charm did not work, then other methods were used. Islam is a process of increasing force that can start out pleasantly.
We are left with an ethical confusion around any Muslim. They can seem pleasant, but nothing changes the fact that they see Mohammed as the perfect person to imitate. Nothing changes the fact that we are kafirs. Kafir is the worst word in the human language.
Whom are we to believe-the Muslim at work or Mohammed? Every Muslim wants to imitate Mohammed; every Muslim is a Mohammedan. The problem is that Mohammed annihilated every kafir he ever met. It was a process. The process started out nice and when nice did not work, it ended in annihilation of the kafir. In Islam, nice is the beginning of bad for the kafir.
So how do you tell if a nice Muslim is good or bad? From the kafir point-of-view, there is only the fact that a Muslim is following Mohammed's example. And that is bad, very bad.
Bill Warner is a scholar and author on Islam. This article appeared in the Political Islam blog.