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Is Islam More Likely Than Other Religions to Encourage Violence?

April 22, 2011

Not long ago, Pew Research poll found that in the U.S. 66% Conservative Republicans, 60% white Evangelicals, 67% Tea Party supporters, 44% whites and 42-60% of other citizens believe that Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions. Are they right to hold such beliefs?

Before proceeding with this post, I want to state that: I do not approve of, and hate all terrorist acts regardless who commits them! Terrorism is not an article of faith and can NEVER be justified.

For whatever reasons (i.e. political correctness), I believe that those acts of terrorism committed by some Muslims get more media attention/coverage than others. These days, anyone, Muslim or not, can be titled a terrorist if they do not support certain political views.  Here is why I believe this:

1) According to the FBI’s official website of all terrorist attacks committed on the U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 include: Latinos 42%, Extreme Left Wing Groups 24%, Jewish Extremists 7%, Islāmic Extremists 6%, Communists 5% and others 16%. According to the FBI report, the highest incidents of terrorism in the U.S. by region took place in Puerto Rico.

2) According to the U.S. News & World Report, in 2005 worldwide “at least 19 percent of the attacks last year as related to Islāmic extremism and some 25 percent as secular or political in motive, while the remaining 56 percent are unknown.” Although the percentage is no small at all, the U.S. News and World Report cites: “Islāmic extremists, however, have been quite deadly; they are believed responsible for some 37 percent of the casualties.” Meaning 63% of casualties caused by terrorist acts is not related to Islamic extremism.

3) Many religions teach peace, but despite this their adherents have committed acts of terrorism. Here are some examples of terrorist acts done by adherents of religions other than Islam:

–Buddhism: in the 20th and 21st century is in Sri Lanka, where Sinhala Buddhist groups have committed and encouraged violence against local Christians and Tamils. The leader of Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult that committed a lethal sarin gas attack in the mid-1990s, drew on Buddhist as well as Hindu ideas to justify his beliefs.

–Christianity: Modern day movement called Lord’s Resistance Army emerged in 1998 in northern Uganda as a rebel movement dedicated to overthrowing the east African country’s government and establishing a regime to uphold the Biblical Ten Commandments, but it was largely put down in its own country. The group has killed about 2,000 people in the last two years, and displaced more than 400,000, according to the UN.
–Christianity: The National Liberation Front of Tripura, a rebel group operating in Tripura,North-East India classified by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism as one of the ten most active terrorist groups in the world, has been accused of forcefully converting people to Christianity. The state government reports that the Baptist Church of Tripura supplies arms and gives financial support to the NLFT. The Church is also reported to encourage the NLFT to murder Hindus, particularly infants. NLFT has also declared a ban against Hindus celebrating Durga Puja and other Hindu festivals.
4) Islam does not support terrorism as stated by these verses, among many, from the islamic Holy Book, Qur’an:
[Quran 6:151] “…You shall not kill — GOD has made life sacred — except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”
[Quran 2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
Permission to fight is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged – truly God has the power to come to their support – those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, “Our Lord is God” (Qur’an, 22:39-40)
“If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God” (Qur’an, 8:61).
Simply put, Islam does not encourage any more violence than any other religion. One only needs to do a bit more OBJECTIVE research to come to this conclusion.

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