On why Islam isn’t inherently more violent than other religions

Standard

“ Let’s assume for a moment, then, that Islam is especially predisposed towards violence. If that’s your view, then you’ll need to show why the history of jihadi terrorism is so very short: this is emphatically a late 20th and early 21st century phenomenon, yet Islam has been around since the seventh century. What about its wars of conquest? Well they definitely happened, but not in a way that marks Islam out from other cultures. The subsequent wave of imperial expansionism came via the sky-worshiping Mongols, before they settled down to become Muslims. Not only that, the dominant (often genocidal) military powers since the 17th century have been Christian – and they frequently regarded themselves as having a religious mission (…) The Qur’an and the hadith, the sources of Islam, didn’t get rewritten in the last few decades. But they were taken up and used by certain political actors who justify horrific violence. Why? The answer must lie among the political, economic, military and social changes in the Middle East in our times, and how they are ramifies in the wider world. It’s only by looking beyond the texts that we can hope to understand why certain interpretations of them have gained currency among a tiny minority – but a minority willing to indiscriminately kill civilians ”

David Shariatmadari, ‘Should we blame Islam for terrorism?’, The Guardian

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s