Quran (5:32): Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind...
When presented, this verse is almost always redacted to say "if anyone killed a person it would be as if he killed all mankind". The full reading (including the verse that follows) conveys a much different meaning.
Here’s the full text of the verse:
"On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.”
First, notice the gaping loophole. Killing is allowed in cases of murder or "for spreading mischief in the land." Murder is pretty straightforward, but "spreading mischief?"
If anything begged for a careful and precise explanation, a phrase authorizing torture certainly would. But generations of Muslims are left to apply their own interpretation of what "mischief" means - with varying standards. Violating Sharia (Islamic law) or sharing a different religious faith appears to qualify. Verse 7:103 of the Quran even indicates that merely rejecting Muhammad and the Quran counts as "mischief".
Secondly, note the broader context of this verse. It turns out that this isn’t a divine command to Muslims after all. It’s a recounting of a rule that was given to the Jewish people (lifted from the Talmud, in fact). It isn’t an admonition against killing. It’s an imagined indictment against the Jews for violating the law given to them. “Any one” doesn’t mean “anyone,” but rather any one of the Jews.
Any application to Muslims would have to apply only to Muslims - as in Muslim-on-Muslim murder within the brotherhood of believers. In fact, the context of the verse is the murder of Abel by Cain. Historically, this verse has never been interpreted by Islamic scholars to mean that Allah places equal value on the lives of non-Muslims.
The Quran says that restitution for murder is bound by the law of equality (2:178) and that non-believers are not equal to Muslims (39:9). Muhammad affirmed that while a Muslim may be punished with death for killing a fellow Muslim, they should never be slain for killing a non-believer.
Rather than encouraging tolerance, Sura 5 as a whole is actually an incitement of hatred with a hint of violence. Later in the chapter, Jews and Christians are explicitly cursed as ‘wicked’ people with ‘diseased hearts’ and as hateful ‘blasphemers’ respectively. Muhammad goes on to coyly remind his people that Allah loves those who “fight” in his service - and it’s fairly obvious who the enemy is.
Muslim apologists also leave out the fact that 5:32 is immediately followed by a gruesome verse which actually mandates killing in the case of the aforementioned "mischief" - and this isn't pulled from the Talmud. It even suggests crucifixion and “the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides.” (This injunction is dutifully followed by ISIS)
Although verse 5:32 recounts the law given to Jews, the verse that follows is clearly intended for Muslims. (Imagine if instead of upping the law against murder to include anger, Jesus stated, "You have heard it was said that all life is sacred, but I tell you that those who wage war against God should be crucified...")
Verse 5:33 provides the basis for blasphemy laws, in which people are executed for insulting or questioning Islam. Ironically then, the very part of the Quran that apologists use to portray Islam as a non-violent religion has long been used as justification for making verbal offense into a capital crime.
So, the Quran's best example of moral instruction is a passage which actually mandates the torture and execution of those deemed a threat to Islamic hegemony...
With this being the best that Islam has to offer, it’s not hard to guess why the religion contributes over a thousand deadly terrorist attacks to the world each and every year.