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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Does anyone really believe Islam is 'religion of peace'?

Does anyone really believe Islam is 'religion of peace'?




Some people prefer to know the truth, whether it is pretty or not.

Others prefer to avoid reality by pretending the dark and ugly are just misunderstood.

Nowhere is this divide easier to recognize than in attitudes toward Islam.

While some claim Islam is truly a “religion of peace,” others can’t avoid seeing the horror, violence and barbarity associated with the second-largest faith in the world.

What I wonder, though, is whether the people who look at Islam and see a “religion of peace” really believe their eyes? Or are they just making such proclamations because they think it’s the right thing to do?

This occurred to me the other day when I got a Google Alert. Do you get Google Alerts for certain keywords or phrases you’re interested in exploring? I find it to be a valuable tool – one we didn’t have in the early, pioneering days of the Internet and the early search engines.

So I got this News Alert for one of my keywords – “Islam.” It had a number of stories associated with the term, as you might expect, given the amount of news generated everyday by the religion. Here were a few of the promoted in the email:

There was this one from the Canadian Broadcasting Company headlined “Saskatoon conference promotes understanding of Islam.” In an interview with the CBC, one of the conference organizers, Naqaa Abbas, described as “a scholar of Islam,” had this to say: “I’m sure there are lots of incidents where there are miscommunications, misunderstandings, something lost in translation.”

Then there was this one from Thailand’s The Nation: “Islam in need of understanding, not prejudice. It went on to say: “A meeting of minds is needed to counter extremist views, whether from Muslims or Buddhists. Being a Muslim in Thailand and many other places around the world isn’t easy. Wars in the Middle East, terrorist attacks in various cities around the world and the ongoing insurgency in the Malay-speaking South have fanned the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment. There is a growing concern in Thailand that these feelings could turn into Islamophobia.”

There were several more entries like that on the alert, but you get the picture: The only thing we have to fear is “Islamophobia.”

But those weren’t the only reports on that Google Alert last week. There were others. Among them:

From the Deccan Herald in Bangladesh, this headline: “Elderly Buddhist monk hacked to death.” Can you imagine who committed such a crime? The story says: “A 70-year-old Buddhist monk was hacked to death by unidentified miscreants inside a monastery in southeast Bangladesh, a week after a Muslim Sufi preacher was murdered in a similar attack. … Assailants slit his throat sometime last night, they said. The latest assault bears the hallmark of previous murders of intellectuals, bloggers and minorities by Islamists in the country.”

Here’s another report from SwissInfo touted by that Google Alert: “Australia charges five men over plot to sail to join Islamic State.” The story began: “Australian police have charged five men suspected of planning to travel to Syria to join Islamic State via a journey that would start in a small motor boat taking them to Indonesia and the Philippines. The men, aged between 21 and 31, were charged on Saturday with preparing to enter a foreign country ‘for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities,’ an offense that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.”

These four stories were representative of many others like it on that Google Alert that had searched objectively for news involving “Islam.”

There were only two kinds of stories searched out by Google in which the word “Islam” was the term of choice:

those concerned about “rising Islamophobia,” and
those concerned with violence and terrorism connected to Islamic jihadis.
Doesn’t that just about cover the full spectrum of reporting on Islam today throughout the world – especially the West?

Islam is arming itself, attacking non-Muslims in an effort to consolidate its territory, convert infidels and extend its reach around the world. Meanwhile, Islam is playing the victim and claiming that all that violence and terrorism you are seeing is just a matter of your eyes playing tricks on you – or perhaps your own Islamophobia.

That raises the question: Do we have more to fear from Islam or Islamophobia?

You tell me.


Does anyone really believe Islam is 'religion of peace'?




Some people prefer to know the truth, whether it is pretty or not.

Others prefer to avoid reality by pretending the dark and ugly are just misunderstood.

Nowhere is this divide easier to recognize than in attitudes toward Islam.

While some claim Islam is truly a “religion of peace,” others can’t avoid seeing the horror, violence and barbarity associated with the second-largest faith in the world.

What I wonder, though, is whether the people who look at Islam and see a “religion of peace” really believe their eyes? Or are they just making such proclamations because they think it’s the right thing to do?

This occurred to me the other day when I got a Google Alert. Do you get Google Alerts for certain keywords or phrases you’re interested in exploring? I find it to be a valuable tool – one we didn’t have in the early, pioneering days of the Internet and the early search engines.

So I got this News Alert for one of my keywords – “Islam.” It had a number of stories associated with the term, as you might expect, given the amount of news generated everyday by the religion. Here were a few of the promoted in the email:

There was this one from the Canadian Broadcasting Company headlined “Saskatoon conference promotes understanding of Islam.” In an interview with the CBC, one of the conference organizers, Naqaa Abbas, described as “a scholar of Islam,” had this to say: “I’m sure there are lots of incidents where there are miscommunications, misunderstandings, something lost in translation.”

Then there was this one from Thailand’s The Nation: “Islam in need of understanding, not prejudice. It went on to say: “A meeting of minds is needed to counter extremist views, whether from Muslims or Buddhists. Being a Muslim in Thailand and many other places around the world isn’t easy. Wars in the Middle East, terrorist attacks in various cities around the world and the ongoing insurgency in the Malay-speaking South have fanned the flames of anti-Muslim sentiment. There is a growing concern in Thailand that these feelings could turn into Islamophobia.”

There were several more entries like that on the alert, but you get the picture: The only thing we have to fear is “Islamophobia.”

But those weren’t the only reports on that Google Alert last week. There were others. Among them:

From the Deccan Herald in Bangladesh, this headline: “Elderly Buddhist monk hacked to death.” Can you imagine who committed such a crime? The story says: “A 70-year-old Buddhist monk was hacked to death by unidentified miscreants inside a monastery in southeast Bangladesh, a week after a Muslim Sufi preacher was murdered in a similar attack. … Assailants slit his throat sometime last night, they said. The latest assault bears the hallmark of previous murders of intellectuals, bloggers and minorities by Islamists in the country.”

Here’s another report from SwissInfo touted by that Google Alert: “Australia charges five men over plot to sail to join Islamic State.” The story began: “Australian police have charged five men suspected of planning to travel to Syria to join Islamic State via a journey that would start in a small motor boat taking them to Indonesia and the Philippines. The men, aged between 21 and 31, were charged on Saturday with preparing to enter a foreign country ‘for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities,’ an offense that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.”

These four stories were representative of many others like it on that Google Alert that had searched objectively for news involving “Islam.”

There were only two kinds of stories searched out by Google in which the word “Islam” was the term of choice:

those concerned about “rising Islamophobia,” and
those concerned with violence and terrorism connected to Islamic jihadis.
Doesn’t that just about cover the full spectrum of reporting on Islam today throughout the world – especially the West?

Islam is arming itself, attacking non-Muslims in an effort to consolidate its territory, convert infidels and extend its reach around the world. Meanwhile, Islam is playing the victim and claiming that all that violence and terrorism you are seeing is just a matter of your eyes playing tricks on you – or perhaps your own Islamophobia.

That raises the question: Do we have more to fear from Islam or Islamophobia?

You tell me.




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