The Game or hypothetical argument to counter FACTS:
- Most Muslims live peacefully, without harming anyone, so how can Islam be a violent religion?
- If Islam were the religion of terrorists then why aren’t most Muslims terrorists?
This argument presumes that it is valid to make assumptions about an ideology based on the behavior of adherents. However, if this were the case, then we would have to conclude that Islam is different and dangerous. True, most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. If Islam is a religion of peace, why is it the only one that consistently produces religiously-motivated terrorist attacks each and every day of the year?
Rather than answer a question with a question, let’s just say that the reason most Muslims don’t kill is that, regardless of what Islam may or may not teach, it’s wrong to kill over religion. Most people know deep down that if God wanted people dead for not believing in Him, then He’s perfectly capable of doing the job Himself.
Here’s a similar question with identical logic to the “If the Quran taught violence then all Muslims would be violent” argument:
“If the Quran taught that a thief’s hand should be cut off, then all Muslims would cut off hands.”
We can all agree that very few Muslims cut off hands and that a majority (perhaps) believe it is wrong to do so. If the logic were sound, then this would be proof that the Quran does not say to cut off hands.
But the Quran does say this… quite clearly, in fact:
Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah.
(Quran – 5.38. Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.)
This is also the example set by Muhammad according to the Hadith (Bukhari 81:792).
(Narrated ‘Aisha: The Prophet cut off the hand of a lady, and that lady used to come to me, and I used to convey her message to the Prophet and she repented, and her repentance was sincere.)
Yet, the vast majority of Muslims do not do this.
What this means is that proof of what Islam teaches or what the Quran says is not necessarily found in what the majority of Muslims choose to do or not do.
As individuals, Muslims make their own choices about which parts of their religion they practice and which parts they would rather dismiss via the guise of “context”.
Adherents may think or say whatever they want to about Islam, it doesn’t change what Islam says about itself. As a documented ideology, Islam exists independently of anyone’s opinion. As such, it may be studied objectively, apart from how anyone practices or chooses to interpret it.
The Quran plainly teaches that it is not only proper to kill in the name of Allah in certain circumstances, but that it is required. Muslims who don’t believe in killing over religion either do not know of Muhammad’s example or tacitly prefer a moral law that is independent of it. Those who put Islam first or know Islam best will think and act differently, even if they are in the minority.
Few Muslims have ever read the Quran to any extent, much less pursued an honest investigation of the actual words and deeds of Muhammad (which were more in line with hedonism, deception, power and violence than moral restraint). The harsh rules that Muslim countries impose on free speech to protect Islam from examination also prevent it from being fully understood.
As Taslima Nasreen succinctly puts it, “Islam is a violent ideology. Most Muslims are not violent – because they believe Islam is not violent.”
In the West, many Muslims, devout or otherwise, simply prefer to believe that Islam is aligned with the Judeo-Christian principles of peace and tolerance, even if it requires filtering evidence to the contrary. They read into the Quran what they want to see.
But, while most Muslims are peaceful in spite of Islam, others are dangerous because of it. It is what some of us comfortably refer to as “radicalization” – an ‘affliction’ that is conspicuously endemic to Islam.
Purists who take Islam to heart are more likely to become terrorists than humanitarians. Those most prone to abandoning themselves to Muhammad’s message without a moral filter are always the more dangerous and supremacist-minded. They may be called ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists,’ but, at the end of the day, they are dedicated to the Quran and the path of Jihad as mandated by Muhammad.
This explains why Islam is a constant challange that becomes harder to deal with as the number of Muslims increases.
Note: Christian apologist, David Wood, makes an excellent point about the distinction between a religious command and obedience. No Christian is perfect, he says, but this doesn’t change the fact that they are told to be (Matthew 5:48).