Monday, June 12, 2006

Visitor Charges Ignorance of Islam

In the previous column I wondered what the chances of democracy taking a prominent role in the Middle East are, given the sectarian violence that is now occurring in Iraq. Most of the violence and death are inflicted by Muslims against other Muslims—the Sunnis against (primarily) the Shi’a. This violence is clearly a religious conflict, and it is clearly a Muslim conflict.

There is and has been a great deal of violence committed by Muslims, and even the acts that are not part of the sectarian conflict are often connected to Islam by the perpetrators, who say they are trying to rid their country of Western intruders, or are waging war against “infidels.” Even when the goal is to drive out U.S. and coalition forces, Iraqi Muslim are most often the victims, and more than a few of the insurgents/terrorists are foreign fighters who have come to Iraq to fight. In response to that column was the following comment:

Understanding_Islam said...


Yet again...another non-Muslim who is accusing Islam! For those of you who accuse Islam of being a religion of violence...WHERE DOES IT STATE IN THE QUR'AN TO GO AND KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE? Please, for your own sakes, shut your ears from listening to what the media says and go and do your own research!!!If anyone is interested in getting a better understanding of Islam, feel free to visit my blog!


I appreciate Understanding Islam sharing his or her thoughts on Observations, but I wonder at his or her apparent lack of understanding that despite what the Qur’an does or does not say about killing innocent people, Muslims are busy killing innocent people.

Perhaps Islam is indeed a religion of peace, but it is difficult to ignore the murders committed by Muslims, which are often indiscriminate, frequently target innocents and often are committed in the name of Allah. Perhaps Understanding Islam’s peaceful religion has been hijacked or perverted by fanatics, and if that is the case you have to wonder why moderate and peaceful Muslims are so quiet. The Muslims that I know are quite devout, and I have the impression that Muslims are universally very attentive to the practices of Islam. And if that is so it is even more baffling why “true” Muslims who believe in peace, and who revile the killing of innocents allow what may be a fairly small faction of non-peaceful “false” Muslims to so horribly soil the reputation of Muhhamed and of Islam?

Could it be that while most Muslims interpret the Qur’an as a document that promotes peace and tolerance, it is equally legitimate to interpret the Qur’an as a document that encourages death to all non-Muslims—or in the case of the Sunni/Shi’a conflict, encourages the death of non-Sunnis—as a way to rid the world of non-believers or false believers? This would explain why there is no outrage at the irrational violence perpetrated by other Muslims.

It is all well and good to profess that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion and to implore us to research the religion for ourselves, but so long as Islam is so closely tied to horrendous barbarism and so long as that faction of barbarians is allowed to continue murdering indiscriminately, it is fair and proper for us non-Muslims to question Islam’s claims to being peaceful.

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