Originally posted by Aya.@Rehanism
Islam is a religion of Peace. It's not an opinion. It's a fact !
2nd: What are you exactly trying to prove by showing those pictures ?!
Ahh, so If I were to go out to protest & write on my board, "Behead those who say Christianity, Judaism, Hunduism, Atheism is violent !!"
What would you say then ?!
Would it seriously be right to blame religion ?!
Why don't you point your fingers at humanity rather than pointing your fingers at Islam ?!
So many innocent people died in the war of Irag, Afganistan, & Palestine & still the blame is on Islam & Muslims ?! They are still called terrorists ?! Really ?!
There are good & bad people in this world. Blame humanity ! Not religion ! Religion has nothing to do with this ! It's us humans !
You claim that you read all the Holy books, but I DOUBT IT !
Because CLEARLY in the Quran, Chapter 5 Verse 32, it says...
"If anyone kills an innocent person it would be as if he killed the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind."
You & others can try so hard to change the verses of the Quran, but the truth is, you won't ever be able to do so, because millions of people memorize the Quran BY HEART !
A religion at best is a path in life. It is something that guides people of faith. Ideally, it is peaceful and harmonious. Unfortunately, our world is not ideal. That is why I view religion as something neutral. It is neither peaceful nor violent. It is people who make it violent or peaceful. That is why almost every religion will have violent and peaceful aspects depending on the people who follow it.
I feel Rehan was merely trying to show the irony within the recent protests. A movie was made that portrayed Muslims as barbaric and violent. It was a gross generalization and misrepresented Islam. However, in order to protest the movie some extremist factions resorted to barbarism and violence. That is ironic and counterproductive to proving that "Islam is Peaceful". Of course Muslims will be offended and have every right to protest against it peacefully and through legal litigation. Any reasonable person knows not all Muslims are like that. Most ordinary Muslims also don't want these barbaric violent extremists representing their religion. That is why so many Muslims in Libya protested against the attack on the consulate.
Why blame religion?
I agree the blame lies with the people, not with the religion. However, we have to realize that violence was committed in the name of religion. Religious leaders encouraged and let the violence. So no matter how hard we try it becomes difficult to separate the religion from its people. In this case the violence was committed in the name of Islam. Accepting that fact leads to accountability. If we say it is just human nature, we easily sweep the problem under the rug. But accepting accountability makes us realize that people are misusing religion, some religious leaders are poor representatives and we need to bring about changes and reforms so we can rebuild the image of a peaceful religion.
Jerry Sandusky was a child abuser, Penn State as a whole was innocent and a good university. Yet what Jerry did tarnished the reputation of a whole University. They had to acknowledge their bad apples and try and fix things. They could not say Jerry was a bad individual and wash their hands of it. Similarly Islam as a whole maybe innocent. But some Muslims are terrorists. Islam cannot just wash their hands of it. People are doing bad things under their banner and Muslims have to step up and fight against it.
Learning anything by rote does not imply understanding or responsibility. In fact by rote learning without comprehension is one of the most dangerous forms of knowledge. The problem is that Islam does have several verses that encourages fighting against infidels. Many Muslims don't consider infidels to be innocent. Many believe that if someone does not accept Allah or follow the teachings of Mohammed they are not innocent and taking their life is no crime. Every person who reads something has a personal interpretation. What you understand and interpret when you read a Quran is different when someone else reads the Quran. Some Muslims interpret peace and harmony and treat every life as precious and innocent. Some don't.
Islam is not the only religion with this conundrum. The old testament also has several commandments for the children of Israel to fight against barbarians. It has several commandments to stone people, kill people over frivolous things. Even Christianity had its barbaric phases. The religion evolved and tried to reconcile conflicting interpretation to be more harmonious. Christians shed some rigid notions of sin and abomination and interpreted the Bible in a more peaceful manner. Almost all belief systems have unsavory aspects or interpretations that need to be addressed or reconciled.
So when someone cites a passage that appears to cite violence, it is better not to get defensive. Some people out there with minimal education, lack of compassion, those who are easily brainwashed will interpret it in the wrong way and be violent in the name of religion. Acknowledge it as a challenge Islam has to face as it evolves and grows into a religion that finds its place amidst others as a peaceful religion. Every religion has to go through the phase of introspection and reconciliation with changing times - over and over again.