Herein lies an excellent account of people clinging to a delusional belief even when it is patently false.
A recent CBS Poll reported that 66% of Democrats believe that Islam is no more violent than any other religion, including Christianity. 53% of Independents also agreed with this statement.
Why are we still debating this?
A casual observer might think it obvious that the vast majority of religious violence is perpetrated by those who practice Islam. We are inundated with sound bites and news clips about Islamic terrorism on a regular basis. One only has to look at the recent attacks that have occurred in the United States and Europe to see that this is true.
Most Muslims truly are peace-loving people who just want to raise their families and live their lives. I will never dispute that. I’m not writing this to vilify all Muslims. As a matter of fact, Muslims have been the most frequent victims of those who practice the radical version of the religion.
However, the idea that religions such as Christianity are just as violent as Islam is ludicrous. In the past couple of weeks, there have been at least six Islamic terrorist attacks carried out by extremists.
- Four Somali guards were killed in an attack by al-Shabaab militants.
- A suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan murdered Twenty-one people.
- Cigarette smugglers were crucified by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq.
- Six Red Cross workers were murdered by ISIS in Northern Afghanistan.
- A Shiite doctor was killed in Pakistan by an Islamic terrorist group.
- ISIS executed five people in Egypt.
I am certainly not under the delusion that there have never been terrorists from other religions. We have all heard about Christians who carry out violent acts against abortion clinics. There are also Buddhists who engage in violence in the name of their religion. But the vast majority of religious violence in the world today is being committed by people who practice Islam.
When writing about Islamic violence for the Wall Street Journal for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and former Muslim wrote,
When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.
One of the most significant contributors to religious violence is scripture. One of the arguments you have probably heard is that “the Bible is violent too.” It is a common assertion.
Yes, there is violence in the Bible.
However, the mere presence of violent content isn’t at issue. The issue is whether the Bible commands Christians to kill those who do not believe as they do. There is nothing in the Bible that tells the reader to murder unbelievers. Jesus never advocated violence against those who don’t believe. “Love your enemies” doesn’t exactly inspire violence, does it?
The few modern acts of Christian violence were carried out by people who were going against the Bible’s teachings. It is why Christians condemn anyone who claims to commit violence in the name of Christ. There is no sensible way to use the Bible to justify the murder of others, and as an institution, the Christian Church overwhelmingly condemns these actions.
The same cannot be said of the Qu’ran. Many verses command Muslims to kill nonbelievers. Some verses exhort Muslims to martyr themselves for their religion. Fortunately, the vast majority of Muslims do not take these verses literally. The problem is that the Muslims who do take these verses literally can use their scriptures to justify their actions.
Of course, when we’re talking about religious violence, we shouldn’t focus solely on terrorism. We must also focus on societal behaviors. If one looks at the situation objectively, it is quite easy to see that Islamic countries are far more violent than other nations. In a piece for the Daily Wire, Michael Qazvini writes the following,
There’s a reason why hordes of Muslim refugees are trying to pour into the West. In Syria, for example, religious sectarian warfare has left nothing but pools of blood. Syria is no longer a functioning state. In Iran, where Shia Islam reigns supreme, religious minorities are purged, women are treated as second-class citizens, and homosexuals are hung from cranes. In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive or leave the house without a male guardian.
A radical interpretation of Islam has created nations that systematically oppress their people. Citizens can be jailed, beaten, and killed for failing to comply with Sharia law. If an individual decides to convert to a different religion, their lives are in danger. In some cases, if a girl does something that shames her family, she could become a victim of an honor killing. There are no Christian nations where this is happening. In the United States, our government is not allowed to force its citizens to practice a specific religion.
We can’t truly make progress in countering radical Islamic ideology if we are unwilling to accept the truth. People of every religion, including Islam, are being victimized. Pretending as if Islam is like any other religion when it comes to violence isn’t the solution.