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Islam and Violence - The Truth

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Text Preview I have intended to write about “Islam and Violence” for some time, something I should have addressed a long time ago; I only hope that it is not too late.  Before asking you to carefully read all of this, I want to be sure that you do not conclude that I am making any moral judgment or that, even more importantly, I am holding myself above others.  I see what I believe is an unacceptable situation and I refuse to sit silently anymore and endorse it with my silence.  I am also not going to debate my values, making a career out of further defending my values or opinions, much less stoop to a position where I have to degrade Christianity with equivalent examples to prove my point. What is the issue?

From time to time, I find “anti-Muslim” conversation in discussions with friends, colleagues and even family, verbal, blogs, emails, etc.; I find what I hear inconsistent with both facts, as well as with Christianity as I understand it.  There are clear differences between Islam and Christianity, but there are so many…too many…misconceptions and falsehoods that percolate and circulate even down to these discussions group levels, I feel compelled to address them at this time.  My goal is to either eliminate these discussions completely or to correct any false statements with facts, as well as promote a little peace in our communities and the world. Daniel Patrick Moynihan eloquently put it:  “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Regular anti-Islamic statements come from the press, Liberals and Conservatives, Christian, Jewish and other religions, which are factually untrue and go unchallenged. I find that where there is ambiguity in the Qur’an (as there is in both the Old Testament and the New Testament too), I can even understand a misguided opinion when something is not read in balance or context; but, nonetheless, it is opinion and, no matter how intently believed or how often repeated, opinions are not facts. Does the Qur’an Preach violence?

My answer1
Yes, in some situations; but it also preaches tolerance and forgiveness.  Most modern "moderate" Moslems interpret the Qur’an "figuratively". However, the Moslem extremists interpret it literally; it appears that the early followers of Mohammad interpreted it literally also. The number of people in the world, who practice Islam, is most recently estimated between 1.6 billion – 1.8 billion people; Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, already representing approximately 23% of the global population.  If the entire1.6 – 1.8 billion Muslims actually believed that all non-Muslims should be killed for the sole reason that all non Islam-believers should be killed, it is hard for me to conclude (my opinion) that the world would not be far more violent than it already, assuming that any meaningful percentage of that large number truly believed that the Qur’an calls for that extreme solution to conversion.  Further, it is my opinion that no statistically relevant percentage of Muslims currently hold that belief or the numbers of non-Muslims killed would be orders of magnitude greater than they are. My logic suggests that there can only be two conclusions:

(a) The overwhelming (>99%) number of Muslims in the world do not appropriately practice their faith and beliefs or (b) That the number of Muslims responsible for waging artificial jihad (my characterization) is so small when compared to the total global Muslim population that it is statistically insignificant and erroneous to apply that to the whole population. Let’s do the math

Worldwide: If only 1/10 of 1% (an extremely small percentage and statistically insignificant number) of the Muslims in the world were to advocate violence against Christianity as our colleagues espouse, that would represent an army of 1,600,000 – 1,800,000 people, who were committed to jihad; I can find no estimate anywhere that validates a number anywhere near that size…not even from the most vocal and radical... Show More

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