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Is Islam fundamentally a peaceful religion?

In the wake of 9/11, many Muslims have outspokenly condemned violence in the name of their religion. However, critics of the faith, and critics of religion in general, have suggested that the faith can indeed breed extremism, and that many passages in the Koran, if taken literally, seem to even condone the slaughter of non-believers.

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Experts and Influencers

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Experts In Religion

Ingrid Mattson    President of Islamic Society of North America
I do believe that American Muslim communities have been good in this respect--have worked hard to write their opinions about terrorism, about extremism, about violence committed in the name of Islam. Unfortunately, those positions are not being heard by the general American public. Many Muslims engaging in public speaking find themselves in the frustrating position of being asked why Muslims do not condemn terrorism. Sometimes people are not hearing the message despite our best efforts.
01 Sep 2006    Source

Experts In Politics

Michael Bloomberg    Mayor of New York
It is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our city even closer together, and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any ways consistent with Islam.
03 Aug 2010    Source

Experts In Islam

Cat Stevens    Singer, Prominent Islamic Convert
I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action. The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity.
12 Sep 2001    Source

Experts In Religion

M. Zuhdi Jasser    President of American Islamic Forum, U.S. Navy L. Commander
...radicalization will only accelerate until the American Muslim community develops a palpable pro-liberty, anti-Islamist response. This war of ideas has been nearly impossible with much of the media, government, and academe unwilling to engage in the tough work of theo-political discussions of necessary Muslim reform. Muslim youth and young adults will continue to be susceptible to the separatist jihadist ideas of radical Islamists unless we provide alternative liberty-based winning ideas...
05 May 2010    Source

Experts In Politics

Ayatollah Khomeini    Leader of Iran 1979-1989
Islam is not a religion of pacifists. ... Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. ... Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. ... People cannot be made obedient except with the sword!
01 Jan 1942    Source

Experts In Atheism

Sam Harris    Writer, Speaker, Atheism Activist
...Allah commands his followers to slay infidels wherever they find them... What one doesn’t generally hear from Western Muslims is any frank acknowledgment of these unpleasant truths. In response to serious concerns raised over Islamic doctrines related to jihad, martyrdom, apostasy, and blasphemy—along with their incontrovertible link to terrorism, threats of violence, cartoon “controversies,” and the like—one generally meets with petulance, feigned confusion, half-truths, and non sequiturs.
13 Aug 2010    Source

Experts In Entertainment

Bill Maher    Political T.V. Host, Comedian
People who want to gloss over the difference between western culture and Islamic culture [forget] about the fact that the Islamic culture is 600 years younger and they are going through the equivalent of what the west went through the middle ages, the dark ages, when religion had way too much power and we had inquisitions and things like that do so at their peril.
05 May 2010    Source

Experts In Literature

Salman Rushdie    Author of Satanic Verses
What is needed is a move beyond tradition, nothing less than a reform movement to bring the core concepts of Islam into the modern age, a Muslim Reformation to combat not only the jihadist ideologues but also the dusty, stifling seminaries of the traditionalists, throwing open the windows to let in much-needed fresh air. ... It is high time, for starters, that Muslims were able to study the revelation of their religion as an event inside history, not supernaturally above it.
11 Aug 2005    Source


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0 Points      Capricious      25 Mar 2015      Stance on Question: Disagree
Muslims can be peaceful people. Every individual is different.

But their belief or ideology is not so friendly.

I wish I could "save" (moderate) Muslims from their religion.

1 Point      MTC      23 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
Obviously not, just look at the people who believe in Islam the most.

-1 Point      steve      16 May 2012      General Comment
Simply by counting the numbers of Arabs killed by Christians vs. Christians killed by Arabs one would conclude that Christians are by two orders of magnitude more violent.

1 Point      Nashhinton      23 Nov 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Islamic fundamentalism is a dangerous ideology because it interprets the holy books of Islam literally. The quran and the hadith have many passages that condone unjust violence against the Jews and it justifies the murder of infidels and nonbelievers. Any type of religious fundamentalism, especially the fundamentalist alternatives of monotheistic religions, all teach strict adherence to absurd doctrines and literal interpretations of scriptures while promoting unjust bigotry and cruel opposition to science and civil liberties.

1 Point      Ajani Olaide      31 Mar 2011      Stance on Question: Mostly Disagree
It is highly hypocritical to think of Islam being a religion of peace not to talk of debating it. Globally, violence of various sorts, terrorism of highest order, killing and lawlessness in various parts of West Africa have for since be championed by Muslims. In Nigeria, Jos to be precised, unrest that has claimed many lives and properties is rooted in religious tentacle. What of Boko Haram in Maiduguri in northern part of Nigeria; fighting against western education (when their leader had computer system, speaking polished English not Arabic), hunting for law enforcement agents and government officials, it is also an Islam fundamental.Some local government youths are against the building of the Church, assaulting Christians and their leaders. Are they then peaceful? What of September 11, the terrorist attack on USA! Who claimed to be the ring leader, Osamar Bin Laden was an Islamist. Surprisingly, he was applauded by some Islamic nations not minding the huge loss of lives and properties. Ha! Islam is really an anti-peace religion.
To avoid been deceived, Islam is never a peaceful religion and it can never be for those that are practicing it are descendants of Ishmael, the son Hagar, maid servant of Sarah.And the covenant made with Ishmael was that his hand would be against his brother.(Covenant of violence).Because it is a covenant from God, they can not change, and they can not see being violent as bad omen for societal harmony.

0 Points      blacktrance      11 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Islam is fundamentally a violent religion, as it is written in the Koran. Fortunately, most Muslims do not follow it to the letter.

0 Points      Bump      20 Dec 2010      Stance on Question: Neutral
Education, that is what it takes to get people to change. I find it difficult to imagine anyone could get me to kill myself or others because they do not choose to think like I do. This kind of crap is so off the cuff that only a complete moron would ever do something this stupid. These poor brain washed people have nothing. Why on earth don't the Muslim people try to get rid of the idiots who are preaching this tripe? With the millions of peaceful Muslim people and clergy why do they set and do nothing? It is up to them to police their own. Look at the nut case Ayatollah Khomeini. I know the Shaw of Iran was a jerk, however there was at least a good start on democracy. Iran went back decades and now they still amount to little more than a terrorist state that someone is going to use as a big fat target soon, and it won't be the USA. We have done that dance before. Oh well, I honestly think that education would help and it may seem simple, but there are several good examples of what happens when people learn to learn.