Critics of Islam often like to bring two Quranic verses which state the following:
For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb,- those who understand not.(8:22)
For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who reject Him: They will not believe. (8:55)
So they quote the above two passages and claim that the Quran is so hateful and insulting for calling and describing none-Muslims as being beasts.
So, is this the reality, are all none-Muslims truly described as being beasts, or is there a context to this, a context that the critics have once again ignored. Well surprise surprise (well not really!), this is another case of ignoring the context, and isolating the verse on its own to twist what is truly being said.
For instance in the case of Surah 8:55 all you had to do was the read the next verse! Let us quote 8:55 in its context:
For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who reject Him: They will not believe.
They are those with whom thou didst make a covenant, but they break their covenant every time, and they have not the fear (of Allah). (8:55-56)
That is Surah 8:55 in its CONTEXT, all the critic had to do was literally read the next passage! According to the context, the worst of beasts being mentioned in verse 55 is referring to people who keep breaking their covenants with the Muslims! Hence it is not an unrestricted label; rather the label is restricted on the people who are breaking their covenants with the Muslims!
Now what about Surah 8:22? Well once AGAIN the context is important, so let us quote 8:22 within its context:
O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak). Nor be like those who say, "We hear," but listen not: For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb,- those who understand not. (8:20-22)
So all the critic had to do was read the PREVIOUS verse that came right before verse 22! And in verse 21 God commands the Muslims to not be like people who say yes we hear, but in reality they do not listen, meaning do not be HYPOCRITES. Hence the context is referring to hypocrites, people who lie, people who claim they understand, claim they hear, yet in reality they do not.
Furthermore if one studies the historical context of this verse, and the time, one will know that the Muslims had a problem with people who were specifically called the hypocrites! These would be people who pretended to be Muslim, while inwardly they were not, and would always mock and attack the faith. Then you had another worst group of hypocrites who were Muslims, but when the going got tough, they turned on their heels and started complaining and abandoning the Muslim faith and community!
So in conclusion yes the Quran does label certain unbelievers as being the worst of beasts, yet the Quran's labelling is not an unrestricted label on all none-Muslims, rather the label is specific and restricted. It is restricted to people who broke their covenants and agreements with the Muslims, and it was in reference to liars and hypocrites.
And Allah Knows Best!