Islam : A religion of peace?


 

When it comes to IslamI have my own idea about it.  What little I really understand about it

 

Islam
Islam (Photo credit: rogiro)

 

comes from a combination of information from a “Religions of the World” class I had at Manatee Junior College and what I was briefed on while in the service, and, finally, what I have read about it over the years.

 

None of this really makes me an expert but, like every other A hole out there, I have an opinion.  That said, I am going to tell you what my opinion is.  I am not going to expound on and authoritative lecture but, I will give you my perception of Islam.

 

From my understanding the Qur’an is based on a number of books from what we call the Bible.  So the religion should be similar to ours?  I would think so but, then I remember that we also have a large number of religions based on the same book.  The Talmud, the Jewish Bible, has some of the same books but not all of them.  Then we have a number of denominations such as the Catholics, the Protestant, Presbyterian, Lutheran,  the Jehovah Witnesses(JWs), the Latter Day Saints, and others.

 

The differences seem to come from the various interpretations of the text and what it means.  Some of these groups still have a prohibition about PORK.  Some of them will tell you that evil people go to Hell when they die, and at least one says there is NO HELL and then when we die we will lay,unknowing and unaware, in the ground until the day of resurrections come.

 

I do not know who is right.  All I know is that 1. religion is a personal thing and 2 the United States, and I am an American, has freedom of religion so, there is a certain amount of understanding, and tolerance, that should be extended to other religions.

 

We are supposed to respect other people’s religions.  In the past, while the western nations were maturing, this has not always been true.  As the organized religions expanded through Europe they often would declare that NON Christian religions were Satan worshipers.

 

In one 200 year period there were a number of Crusades into the Middle East that attempted to gain control of the Holy Land from the Muslims, who at one time had spread as far west as North Africa and Spain.

 

So what does this have to do with Islam and tolerance?  Well, you can’t have much tolerance of other religions when you refer to practitioners of other religions as “infidels”, and command your followers to kill them.  That seems rather straightforward.

 

Another thing that seems rather straightforward, at least to me, is the Islamic call to kill people who make fun of them, or write books, think Salman Rushdie and the Satanic Verses.  Then again there is that recently done movie : Innocence of Mohammed.  It is a poorly done movie that is poorly dubbed, in an effort to keep the actors from understanding what the aim of the movies really was.  Why else would he change it from Desert Warrior, as well as the setting?

 

So the question about Islam is this : Is it really a peaceful and tolerant religion, or are the so called radicals really the mainstream? 

 

I understand that there are fruitcakes in any group, such as the Pastor in Florida who burned copies of the Qur’an.  Maybe it is just a book to him and maybe he would not get excited if someone were to burn HIS Bible.  Then again, when the shoe is on the other foot, it doesn’t make blisters on yours.

 

You can TALK about other religions all you want but, the real proof is in what you DO.  Threatening people with death because they don’t agree with you is considered, by civilized countries, to be bad form.  That could be a cultural thing that they might grow out of once there is a respect for human life, and it is hard to see a respect for human life from people who strap on bombs and target  women and children.