JAYDA Fransen, the belligerent deputy leader of the extreme-right Britain First party, recently declared at a rally in Belfast that Islam “is the biggest threat to civilisation across the world”.

She said: “We are at war with Islam. The world is at war with Islam. Jihad and Islam are one and the same. Every single Muslim is obliged to kill you, and your husbands and your wives and your children ... Islam says that every single one of you wonderful people here today deserves to be killed.”

This is the woman Donald Trump admired so much that he retweeted three unverified anti-Islamic videos that she had originally posted. His retweets, and her bigoted wrath, went out to more than 43 million of his followers. Fransen, now with some good reason, believes Trump endorses her Islamophobic views.

For the leader of the most powerful country in the world to repeat something so dangerous and contagious beggars belief. But it seems to be true – the US president appears to support the incitement of hatred by demonising the entire Muslim community.

Franson said in another tweet: “It is not I that incites terrorism, it’s the Quran.” Really? Could Fransen show me one statement in the Quran that calls for gratuitous violence? If she’s so opposed to it, she must have studied it.

But I’m fairly certain that neither Fransen nor Trump has ever read the Quran.

The charge often levied against Islam by Fransen and her ilk is that the “Muslim religion” preaches hate for all others and encourages violence against “infidels”. The allegation is that the Quran has many verses that incite this kind of hatred and violence.

Does the Quran really decree violence against disbelievers and infidels? Sadly, there is some perversion of the text by some who shelter under the Islamic umbrella. This is often based on poor translation and bad teaching but feeds a narrative of hatred or sense of persecution.

There is no denying that the Quran clearly states that “disbelievers” should be dealt with strictly and that “infidels” should be punished severely. But the term “infidel” doesn’t mean what you might think it means. The primary tenets in the Quran are accountability, followed by decrees to be benevolent. That means selflessly spending your money not on yourself, but to the benefit of society – to support your relatives, orphans, the needy, refugees and the destitute. It also requires you to free captives and slaves, to observe your commitments, to keep your word , and to persevere steadfastly in the face of hardship and adversity. Is this the Islam that Fransen is at war with?

People who apply these principles are, the Quran says, the truthful; these are the righteous. These are the Muslims; those who harmonise society. And anyone who doesn’t believe in these values of social betterment is a “disbeliever”.

In reality, infidels (mushrikeen in Arabic) are those who commit treachery. Traditional translators usually say mushrikeen means infidels. But to translate it as infidels is like calling a gang of marauding Vikings a group of beach revellers.

The Quran never decrees gratuitous violence; it decrees only just punishment and the killing of those active in destroying the peace and security of a community – not the killing of anyone who does not actively fight against the believers.

The Quran does not say believers should be pacifists. It only says that to defend yourself is not aggression. To help the vulnerable and oppressed is not aggression. To challenge those who create fear and turmoil is not aggression. And to call to account those who seek to destroy peace and security of a community is not aggression, because peace at any price is no peace at all.

These are the principles everyone needs and this is the jihad (Arabic to strive for) the Quran speaks about. It has a very different meaning to Fransen’s jihad.

Not only does the Quran decree controlling your anger, it speaks volumes about how people should really be treated: the good response and the bad response are not equal. You shall react with the best possible response. Thus, the one who used to be your enemy may become your close friend.

Is this the Islam that Fransen says obliges Muslims to kill every one of you? The focus of the Quran is to create order for a society in which all live in harmony. Jayda Fransen and Donald Trump, with their tweets and retweets based on nothing but conjecture, are sowing the seeds of hatred and division. Trump’s position is abhorrent, more so as he is the leader of the free world. Who exactly is the bigger threat to civilization? Not Islam, it seems.

Author Paigham Mustafa has been researching and studying the Quran since 1988. His book, The Quran: God’s message to mankind, was published in 2016