Is Islam A Religion Of Peace?

18 02 2006

Since September 11,2001, I have often heard that true Muslims are not terrorists and that those who truly follow the religion are peaceful. Many have proliferated this view, including the President of the United States, who addressing the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., said, “Islam is peace.

My knowledge of the Islamic faith is limited. I am not a Muslim scholar, nor do I know very many Muslims. Those I know are all upstanding citizens of the United States. The fact that Islam may not be a peaceful religion may never have even crossed my mind again, but in the past week it has.

Today in Nigeria, 16 people were killed. Most of these were Christians. These Christians, some killed in churches, were murdered by violent rioters who were torching churches, shops, and vehicles. These rioters were Muslims. Why were they rioting? Because of Danish cartoons.

The protests around the world over these cartoons are ridiculous. Muslims are infuriated over these depictions of Mohammad that were published in the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper. You can read the reasons behind all of that here, but I’m not going to recount it all for you.

Have you heard of Kanye West? Perhaps you caught him on the cover of Rolling Stone last month. I didn’t see any Christians burning KFC’s in Libya.

What kind of religion is so infuriated by cartoons that they start burning things and killing people? Where is the freedom of speech?

I understand that there is controversy over “hate speech” and “freedom of speech”. Personally, I would tend to error on the side of free speech. People should be able to print what they want, when they want. No matter who it offends, they should not be stopped. Do I think Kayne West was inappropriate by posing as Jesus Christ? Yes, I do. Do I think he had a right to do that and have Rolling Stone publish it? Absolutely.

Is Islam peaceful? I don’t really know. But ask those killed in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East over the past few weeks. I think they know the answer.

What do you think?




7 responses

19 02 2006

I think you’re conflating the religion and the nation. Take a look at American Muslims – you don’t see them rioting about it.

19 02 2006

Is Islam a peaceful religion? Yes.

Are all Muslims peaceful? No.

These question’s don’t contradict each other because the religion of Islam very clearly promotes peace and tolerance and denounces violence while Muslims can make mistakes and commit crimes because they have free will. The violent acts by some Muslims (out of a very large number of Muslims) are not supported by any tenant in Islam and are condemnable by any one – As a Muslim, I support punishing those who destroyed property and killed people out of anger over the cartoons. At the same time, Muslims have a right to be angered by the cartoons and stage peaceful demonstrations against the cartoons.

If you are wondering why Muslims should be outraged (but peaceful) over the cartoons, there are many reasons for this anger including but not limited to the deceptive, offensive and vilifying nature of the cartoons, that the cartoons are insulting and demeaning to Muslims around the world and to their religion, and perhaps most importantly, that the cartoons are the first step of humiliating and inspiring hate against Muslims that resembles a very important step that lead to the Jewish Holocaust. Cartoons depicting Jews negatively were an essential step implemented to somehow justify the Holocaust and perhaps history will repeat itself if the beliefs and sacred things of Islam are not respected and protected.

Muslims around the world should be working hard to promote a peaceful environment for encouraging understanding around the world and I hope that this post shed a little light on the topic for friends and neighbors around the world.

19 02 2006
John Sobieski

…I don’t really know…. If you don’t know, perhaps The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew Bostom could help you.

19 02 2006
Libby Greene

The scene: Hagar is running away from Sarai, her mistress and Abraham’s wife. Hagar is pregnant with Abraham’s child, due to no fault of her own…

The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.

Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”

The angel of the LORD also said to her: “You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery.

He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”

[Genesis 16:7-12]

According to the Qur’an, Ishmael was a prophet of Islam. And Muhammad was in the direct line of Ishmael:

Why is Islam set against the Judaism and Christianity? I choose the Genesis 16:12 explanation. Isaac and Ishmael still don’t get along, and they never will.

23 02 2006
Nathan Peretic

You’re sweet too.

27 02 2006
18 09 2006
the stupidest advertisements ever (they’re so bad they’re killing the pope) « i’m a fan of postcards

[…] Perhaps these groups that are organizing something should try a more effective way to get the news out, like declaring the Pope should be killed.   Unfortunately for these groups, Anjem Choudary has already beaten them to this form of attention procurement.  Today, Anjem Choudary said that the Pope should face execution and anyone who insulted Islam should be subjected to capital punishment.  Islam really is a religion of peace, isn’t it? […]

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