Leave “Islamic” Out of It

I have friends, associates and employees of Muslim faith. Not a single one has ever demonstrated signs of wanting “Jihad.” Especially here in the good old US of A. They just want what most of us want: the right to live and worship as they see fit without being attacked or ridiculed for their faith.

A recent Pew Research Center Study said that by the year 2070, Islam will be the world’s largest religion. With my curiosity piqued, I began researching. I learned some fascinating things about the Quran’s teachings.

Muhammad was one in a line of prophets that includes Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. I didn’t know that before. My first thought was, “Huh. That makes us all brothers: Jews, Christians and Muslims.” The Quran is explicit that Allah is the same God as that of Jesus and Moses. …Wow. Wish more folks knew that. Maybe Obama did and wanted to avoid offending the majority of peaceful Islamic brothers and sisters that have no truck with other faiths. If that’s what he was thinking, you can’t fault his logic.

Quran passage 49:10 says, “All believers are brothers to each other,” which makes sense when you consider that Allah as the same God of all three major religions. Passage 24:12 says, “Think of everybody as innocent until guilt is proven against him.” That’s in the Quran! Where have you heard that before? 5:2 says, “Help one another in acts of righteousness and piety but not in sin and rancor.” And my favorite, 30:22, reads: “Differences in colors and languages are signs of Allah—they must not be exploited for the disunity of mankind.”

With many passages like this in the Quran, you realize you are looking at a charitable and sensible religion with beliefs similar to that of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Scientology and others.

In order to form a legitimate viewpoint about Islam becoming the world’s largest religion in 2070—and whether or not this poses any “threat” to mankind—I kept looking. I reviewed one site that discussed some of the Quran’s violent passages about slaying or beheading infidels (non-believers). The author was thoughtful in mentioning that in the early days of Islam, the religion, Muhammad and his followers were under attack and driven from Mecca by Meccan idol worshippers. He explained in great detail how the passages must be understood in the context of that time period’s events, and not constituting what most Muslims believe today.

The Muslim faith is the second largest on earth today. If violence was the order of the Quran’s teaching, then wouldn’t we be seeing significantly more “Jihad” worldwide than the small fraction of radical terrorists engaging in it today?

Another site, on the other hand, passage by violent passage, attempts to disabuse readers of any notion that Islam is a peace-loving religion. This author suggested that the time periods centuries ago were not the same periods in which Islam was under attack, and that the Quran clearly teaches that “Jihad” and the killing of infidels should be done at all times.

As a thinking man with these vastly contradictory interpretations, I had to draw my own, hopefully learned, conclusions. In deciding which interpretation of Islam was correct, I looked at the observable facts: 1) I know many Muslims, none of whom intend to harm others. 2) The Muslim faith is the second largest on earth today. If violence was the order of the Quran’s teaching, then wouldn’t we be seeing significantly more ‘Jihad’ worldwide than the small fraction of radical terrorists engaging in it today? 3) Many of the passages I read teach principles similar to Christianity espousing honesty, kindness and charity. 4) The Quran says that Allah is the same God as that of the Jews and Christians, and that all believers are brothers.

So what’s up with the author who insisted that the Quran teaches violence? Perhaps he’s misguided or, maybe I’m stretching it here, perhaps his views are hate-based—a more subtle hate than the terrorists themselves surely, but hate-based none-the-less. That’s all radical terrorism is: nothing more than another lousy hate crime, but in this case using some perverted interpretation of the Quran as a convenient excuse to commit such a crime.

Yeah, maybe old Barak had it right after all. He didn’t want some of the lower-IQ public to see the cowardly acts of a small group and paint a broad false portrait of a whole religion or people. I’m both Jewish and a Scientologist. I understand that some folks will grasp onto a minute bit of information, taken way out of context, and without any further homework form an opinion on an entire subject, religion, race or otherwise, with virtually no knowledge of it. It’s shameful to pass judgment on something without an honest effort to understand it first.

Let’s call hate and ignorance what it is: hate and ignorance, regardless of who’s doing the hating and ignoring of the facts.

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Stuart Rosenbaum
Entrepreneur, CEO, writer, philanthropist, with a passion for helping create a better world.