Is Islam a religion of peace?


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.

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Christianity, Hell, and Islam


For those who don’t follow, I recently had someone leave a comment on my post “Brian McLaren, really?“. I attempted one response that was a bit long and he responded back with a long response as well. Rather than engage in a “comment debate,” I’d rather just post my full reply as a post, since it will be a bit lengthy. I’d encourage you to read the comments before reading this post.

Well after reading that and reading your link, it looks like you are not interested in thinking any differently then you do now.

Well, to be honest, unless given a good reason to change my beliefs on something so central to the worldview I follow, I don’t see why I should be open to changing my views. Though we should always be open to examine our views, this is generally done by looking at rational arguments and evidence against our position. If our position holds strong against such critiques, there shouldn’t be a willingness to abandon it.

Our Christian Bible, many would say, is just as sexist as the Qur’an or Hadith, (maybe not in as blunt of ways). There are scripture in the Bible that talks about Woman not even being able to talk in Church. We can’t say that the Church treats woman fairly even now, I mean there is a reason why 90% of Church leaders are MEN.

If you define “fairness” by responsibilities, then yes, men and women are not treated equally. However, I think your attempt to equivocate the two is quite unfair. For one, both the Qur’an and Hadith teach that women are ontologically lower, that is, they have less rights, less value, etc by nature of being a woman. This is why rape, beatings, and the like are allowed by many Muslims. One simply look to Surra 2:282 to see that men are a “degree above women.” Prior to this, 2:223 says that men are to treat their wife (or wives) as property and do whatever they will with them. The justification is that women are lesser than men by nature. The Hadith is actually worse considering that the writings of Bukhari, chapter two, verse twenty-eight, states that the majority of Hell is composed of ungrateful women. If you look to Ishaq 593, we’re told that women are plentiful and it’s okay to leave the one you have to find another one. All of this shows that women are, by nature, lower than men and to be treated as property, a bit above animals (though Muhammad’s youngest wife A’isha complained that Muhammad was created women to be on the level of dogs and donkeys [Muslim 4:1039]).

The Bible, alternatively, teaches that men and women are ontologically equal. One merely look to the narrative in Genesis to see that men and women are both made in the image of God (“…male and female He created them…”). One can turn to the works of Paul, specifically in Corinthians, and see that he says the wife’s body belongs to the man and the husband’s body belongs to the wife, thus showing it’s equal. If we turn to Galatians, we find Paul telling the husband and wife to submit to one another. Elsewhere he tells husbands to lead with authority as Christ leads the Church, which is completely self-sacrificial. Paul also says that a man who doesn’t provide for his family, but can (and “provide” in the Greek implies both material and immaterial [i.e. emotions, psychological well-being, etc]), is worse than a heathen. Though women were devalued in Jewish culture, in the New Testament we see that Christ has no problem interacting with a sick woman who needs healing, a woman who is on her 7th marriage and considered a whore by the community, a prostitute who washes His feet with perfume, and the first witnesses of the Resurrection in all the Gospels are females.

All of the above indicates that the Bible sees women as ontological equals. Now, for whatever reason, God has declared that on some issues, men and women have different responsibilities, but this does not make them unequal or elevate men above women. Only those who are power-thirsty would see authority as a standard for equality. Authority has nothing to do with equality – some people, male or female, aren’t called to be in a position of authority. Does this mean they are unequal with those who are called to such a position?

So as you can see, I don’t see your argument as compelling.

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