is Islam a  Religion of violence ? Article  by Dr. Nazir Khan| speakers corner



is Islam a religion of violence based on an article by dr. Nasir Khan the Prophet said worship God the most merciful and spread peace Muslims believe that Islam clearly condemns violence but with so much violence committed in the name of religion many people believe that religion itself is to blame some people even think that humanity would be better off without religion and that religion hinders peace but a quick look at history shows why this view is factually incorrect world war 1 was not about religion but nationalism it claimed the lives of 15 million people world war ii was about fascism up to 80 million people were killed soviet atheism was explicitly against religion but it resulted in more violence and deaths than any religious battle in human history 62 million people were murdered under the Soviet regime and in the past century European colonialism resulted in the deaths of 50 million people the bottom line is that it doesn't matter whether an ideology is religious or non-religious any ideology becomes a cause for violence when it is imposed by force or when it is used to dehumanize others and dehumanization or the denial of the humanity of others is the step that permits killing with impunity today we often see people accusing Muslims of violence because terrorist groups carry out violence in the name of Islam on the one hand we have the mainstream followers of Islam 1.8 billion people who believe that Islam is a religion of peace and justice on the other hand we have a modern terrorist organization that is using the same five letter word Islam to refer to their violent ideology when the media uses the word Islam to refer to that violent ideology the set of the peaceful faith the Muslim families around the world the media ends up siding with the terrorist narrative this ignores the way 1.8 billion mainstream followers of Islam understand their faith the mainstream followers who have the right to inform others about what Islam actually means when we talk about Christianity we don't consider terrorist organizations like the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda or the Ku Klux Klan to be the true representatives of what Christianity is instead we go to the mainstream followers of the faith in the consensus of the religious leaders to mainstream Muslims around the world Islam represents a spiritual journey towards God through worshipping him alone and caring for all of God's creation mainstream Muslims believe in upholding the values of compassion and mercy as embodied in the Quran and through the practice of the prophet peace be upon him the Quran is very clear in condemning acts of violence and aggression in numerous passages but terrace and Islamophobes alike both try to misquote a handful of verses in order to portray Islam is violent for example chapter 2 verse 191 is the most frequently misquoted Quranic passage it is argued that the Quran says kill them wherever you find them but look at the verses immediately before and after fight in the cause of God those who fight you and do not commit aggression verily God does not love those who transgress so kill them that is your attackers wherever you find them and drive them out from where they have driven you out but if they cease and fighting then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors all of a sudden it becomes crystal clear that this phrase is referring only to those waging war against you in fact the great scholar and cousin of the Prophet even Abbas said that this verse means do not attack women children elderly or anyone who is not fighting against you sounds exactly like the kind of statement terrorists and Islamophobes will conveniently ignore terrorists who use Aslam to further their agenda completely disregard any textual and historical context ignore reputable Islamic scholars consistently cherry-pick portions of verses to suit their agenda and even violate the literal command of other explicit texts in the Quran like the verse there is no compulsion in religion so the terrorists have constructed their own violent ideology they call Islam but it actually goes against everything that you find in the sources of real Islam the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet the trouble is the media and many politicians para the terrorist narrative by referring to violent criminal groups as radical Islamist Islamic extremists and Islamic terrorists the result whenever anyone sees a terrorist attack the one common word everyone instantly thinks of is Islam most people agree that the vast majority of the 1.8 billion Muslims are not causing violence but by using the same word that describes the faith of these 1.8 billion people they end up lumping them into the same group as the terrorists so is Islam a religion of violence here are two important conclusions number one Aslam categorically denounces violence the real Islam found in the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet is the same Islam followed by a global faith community of 1.8 billion people who uphold the values of compassion and justice as we find in numerous verses of the Quran and sayings of the Prophet it is not the Islam of terrorists terrorists manipulate and exploit the religion to serve their own agenda even though they use the same word Islam they are referring to something completely different which contradicts everything that mainstream Islam stands for and number two religion does not beget violence violent movements use whatever ideology they can to further their agenda whether its religious or non-religious including nationalism fascism white supremacism and communism any ideology can become an ideology of violence if people use it to dehumanize others it is ideologies of dehumanization that encourage violence whereas the Islamic faith of 1.8 billion people around the world preaches peace and compassion you