Whenever we see of Islamic threats or Islamic violence in the world, it is quite fashionable to offer the retort, “Islam is a religion of peace…these are just fringe extremists.” While such a statement might have been partially true at the turn of the 20th century, such a statement doesn’t stand the test of history or proper study of Islamic history. I want to seek to show that at its root, Islam is not a religion of peace. When looking to modern attitudes and how such attitudes and actions coincide with the first 400 years of Islamic history – including that of their founder Muhammad – indicating that at its origin, Islam is not peaceful. However, I also want to add the caveat that Islam can be a peaceful religion, but the requirement would be for Muslims to drop a few of their beliefs in their religion. I will also explore Christianity to show that though violence has occurred within Christianity, such violence is inconsistent with Christianity. Christianity is truly a religion OF peace that, unfortunately, lost her way.
Let me preface everything by saying that I am not condemning all Muslims. Anecdotally speaking, I’ve never met a violent Muslim. In fact, I’ve gone to school with, worked with, and taught Muslims, all of who had knowledge that I was a Christian from a Jewish background. Not a single one of them were ever rude and, in fact, we got along extremely well. Likewise, in my study of philosophy I have a great respect and great appreciation for Islamic philosophers (specifically Ibn Sina and Al-Farabi). I’m not painting Islam with a broad brush and saying every adherent to Islam is a terrorist or a supporter of the more violent aspects of Islam. In America, I believe the vast majority of Muslims to be moderate to liberal in their Islamic practices, but it is their moderate and liberal beliefs that make them peaceful; that is to say, were they devout adherents to Islam and followed Islam to its logical end, I do not believe they could be peaceful.
As a note to the content of what is written – everything I say can be verified. I have attempted to offer links to the Qur’an and Hadith when appropriate, though it may not go to the specific passage, one can rely on these links to look up the passages I am referring to if one doubts that I am using them properly. This is a lengthy read and would probably be best split up into different posts if not for the fact that doing so would create a fragmented case. If this is too long for one read, feel free to bookmark this page and come back and read it. If you are like me, sometimes it is best to print off long articles and then read them at your own pace, marking where you last left off. However you do it, I would ask that you read this article (no matter what your current stance on Islam is) and consider what I have to say.