Muslims have to answer question of violence... really?

So I saw this article online that said Muslims have to answer the question is Islam violent? The article was provocative thinly veiled in objectivity. Anyway, I just thought the question is absurd! Islam as a religion cannot be violent by definition, since an idea cannot physically harm a thing. Ok we can now say answer the question are Muslims violent? This is what the movie ‘Thank-you for smoking’ called - and forgive the crudity - a ‘BS question.’ It cannot be answered since there are too many variables impossible to answer. The example the movie gave was why is America the best country in the world to live in? Obvious problems are in what sense? Economically? Socially? etc. And how could you possibly measure such a thing? Its a question that is designed to make an argument as it cannot be answered. So are Muslims violent? Asks other questions like which Muslims? What brand of Islam? Can a religious affiliation be the sole cause of a propensity to violence? Violence in what sense? Relative to what? All Muslims or just some? Is there really any such thing as to clearly define one as violent and another not violent? How can any of this be measured? So I guess its an underhand tactic to create conflict.

If you look at the history is Islam as a whole, it has been continually embroiled in violent movements since its inception. Even its “prophet” engaged in violent raids of supply caravans. They were also responsible for what became known as the Crusades (which were a defense war meant to stop their violence invasion of the Holy Lands), and since their tenure began, that land has seen very little peace of any substantial nature.

For a more modern perspective, just look at Egypt, and what the ousting of their “president” has resulted in. In the last few weeks, well over forty Christian Churches have been attacked, with Christians receiving little to no protection from military or police forces.

Any object examination of history will result in the conclusion that Islam, as a religious movement, has largely favored violence in place of peace coexistence. While it is true that this may not represent all Muslim peoples, it does not change the predominant effect the religion has had on the places which fall under its control.

I agree with this. I believe I know the post to which you refer. It was little better than baiting.

Of course Christians have never waged war in the name of religion.:smiley: We’ve not always had the justification of just war. I’m not going to get embroiled in an argument over this. I just think it’s wrong for people to wrongy compute the false equation Islam = violence.:mad:

Where would you like to start? From the very beginning Islam has advanced by the power of arms, intimidation, and persecution in every imaginable form. Now it wasn’t just a few isolated " bad guys " that made this possible and continues to make it possible. It required and still requires the whole hearted support of the Muslim populations.

In every Muslim country today and in every other country with a significant Muslim population, Christians and Animists are being actively and violently persecuted. Answer that.

Linus2nd

Looking at the history of the religious movement as a whole, it is not an inappropriate comparison, especially today in countries governed by Islamic law.

As I said, this is not addressing individual Muslims, as I’m sure many of them are good people doing their best to live by God’s Will. This is simply an observation of the religion as a whole, beginning with its founder.

Also, I never said the Christianity hasn’t engaged in an unjust war; although I’d be interested to see if you could come up with one off the top of your head. I Submit the Crusades as an unjust war perpetrated by Islam. Now, I welcome you to counter with an unjust war perpetrated by Christians, on the grounds of Christian beliefs.

I have always liked violence. They’re purple and they smell nice. They are also the state flower of Illinois.:smiley:

Yes there are incidents of violence that can be cited throughout history by those who call themselves Muslim. But to be honest this again means nothing. You can do this with any peoples. Perhaps all it is, is an inclination to violence by mankind… a proof of original sin? Of course I can cite all the incidents of violence by those who call themselves Christian and so conclude Christianity is violent. We can then have further arguments where you respond with single examples by Muslims, me of those by Christians… it proves nothing. You could look for trends, but again how could you possibly prove this? Even if you could prove that in terms of numbers Muslims have killed is more than Christians, does that prove Islam is to blame… not necessarily as it could be social political or whatever??? However on that point, I think us Europeans will find it harder to defend our body count, it was the ‘Christian’ World that witnessed the mass murder of the reformation, the killing fields of the Flanders, the industry of destruction by Hitler and his holocaust etc… You and I could not possibly research enough to ever come to any conclusion, so we may read a book, but then they give different interpretations of history. Again which books are you referring to of the History of the Muslims? One obvious choice is the Oxford History of Islam… there is no indication at all of what you say and this is an objective academic work from arguably the worlds top university.

Crusades (which were a defense war meant to stop their violence invasion of the Holy Lands)

Are you really going to blame Islam for the Crusades too? Is a 300 year is gap acceptable? Should Britain march back into Brittany and reclaim this part of France from the violent invasion? Could not Palestinians make this argument for Israel?

Egypt, and what the ousting of their “president”

The removal of the social order causes chaos and lawlessness? Yes like New Orleans? Things are very complex in Egypt to be reduced to Christian/Muslim conflict.

How are you measuring this? I guess I will when you answer me why Christian Serbs massacred Muslim Bosnians in the early to mid 90’s.

I am interested in any history of a Pope calling for violence and quoting Scripture… or anyone doing so for that matter.

Think about Lee Rigby’s butcher while he quotes Surah 9. He was most likely referring to Surah 9:29 that calls to fight us until we pay a tax with willing submission. A passage in the Qur’an with no historical context.

It would be interesting if you would link the article as I have not read it, and so with that said I will comment of this statement:

“Islam as a religion cannot be violent by definition, since an idea cannot physically harm a thing.”

An idea can incite violence if that idea is inherently violent. Take, for example, abortion. This is very violent, the idea of it allowing its practice produces nothing but death for at least one person. This is the “idea” of, the purpose of abortion. The point is not whether an idea is violent or not, but the fruit it produces- so to speak. Also, look at the War on Terrorism. Is this idea violent in and of itself, or does it produce violence?

I think the better approach is to study any ideology and its effects on society & the world and from there make your own decision about what it inherently produces in the minds of culture instead of arguing it cannot be physically harmful to “things” (better yet, towards people) only because it is an idea. If that is the case, then you would have to logically conceed that allowing abortion is not violent because they it is only allowing an idea, and your claim is that ideas cannot physically harm a thing, when in the end, those ideas can be the catalyst for an onslaught of freedom or of death for many people.

It’s not simply a matter of people who call themselves Muslims engaging in violence. The governments of these nations engage in systematic suppression of Christianity. The some is not true of Christian nations, which openly allow for Muslim religious practices.

The governments do little to nothing to prevent abuses and persecutions against Christians; and frequently abuse their own blasphemy laws to sentence non-Muslims to unjust jail time simply for denouncing Islam.

This isn’t a matter of body count; this is a matter of the inherent nature of the religion. Islam is a violent religion. It’s founder was a violent man, and that violence has worked its way into the mindset of the people who adhere to him.

As for the examples you described:

The Reformation: Protestants against Catholic, instigated by the Protestant head of church.

Flanders: … What does this have to do with religious comparisons?..

The Holocaust : Perpetrated by the atheistic / mysticist Hitler against… well… the Jews and everyone else… Once again, not Christian in origin.

The only valid example you gave was the reformation, and it was perpetrated by a group who had already cut themselves off from the fullness of the Truth, so it cannot be said to have been the fault of the Catholic Church. On that same note, while its is true that there was also a violent reprisal against the reformation by a future ruler of England, this retribution was not ordered by the head of the Catholic Church as the violence of the reformation was, or the violent caravan raids were ordered by Muhammad.

As for which book… I’m referring to the Qu’ran (sp?), which documents, in detail, the violent and self-serving tendencies of Muhammad under the guise of divine revelation.

Are you really going to blame Islam for the Crusades too? Is a 300 year is gap acceptable? Should Britain march back into Brittany and reclaim this part of France from the violent invasion? Could not Palestinians make this argument for Israel?

The crusades were a war fought to regain territories which were forcibly taken by Islamic forces, so yeah, I’m going to blame them… in the same way I blame Germany for Russia’s retaliation against them when they invaded… although that was more of a war of attrition… or the retaliation of the Native Americans when we forcibly invaded their territory.

The removal of the social order causes chaos and lawlessness? Yes like New Orleans? Things are very complex in Egypt to be reduced to Christian/Muslim conflict.

I wasn’t reducing it to a Christian / Muslim conflict. I was simply pointing out the extremely violent reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood (a significant portion of the Egyptian population) against Coptic Christians, even though the ousting of Morsei had absolutely nothing to do with the Christians. It speaks to an underlying lack of rational thought in the minds of those people.

Also, this. :thumbsup:

I think you’ve missed my point a little. However, I’m glad you’ve mentioned this. I think its fairly uncontroversial. So can not Muslims make the same arguments? The fact you’ve now distinguished between factions or political or claimants to a religion despite his influence being otherwise (Hitler described himself as Catholic), asks why can’t Muslims do this and be acceptable? And if they can’t then it just shows ignorance of the plethora of factors also involved in any claimed violence of Muslims in history. You can’t just say ‘Muslim’ otherwise the WWI can be classed as just ‘Christian.’

As for which book… I’m referring to the Qu’ran (sp?), which documents, in detail, the violent and self-serving tendencies of Muhammad under the guise of divine revelation.

OK so now I’m getting a clearer picture of what you mean, you find the Qur’an promotes violence. Again tricky as Muslims may disagree and also the same argument could be made about the Bible. Basically you’ve said you interpret the Qur’an as inciting violence.
You have made mention of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its a fairly diverse group including political parties that look like Western ones that take part in democratic elections. But if we put it together as Qutub’s Muslim Brotherhood’s interpretation of the Qur’an promotes violent then I think you’ll find most people both Muslim and non will agree.

… in the same way I blame Germany for Russia’s retaliation against them when they invaded…

In international law conquering means ownership; its basically a hostile takeover. Anything other than this is immoral as then the children have to suffer for their forefathers. Did the people in Antioch really have to be retaliated against when they’d been the for centuries?

…It speaks to an underlying lack of rational thought in the minds of those people.

What has this to do with MB or Muslims? Lacking in rational thought perhaps through chaos of educational infrastructure? Or they’re just people like you’ve said so to make a discrimination on that part is well… discrimination. No I think you have reduced it to Christian/Muslim conflict… which it isn’t

I’m a Croatian (Croatians and Serbs are often in conflict), so I have an insight into this. With all respect to Serbs, they didn’t massacre Muslim Bosnians because they were Christian, but because they were Serbs (I’m NOT generalizing or hate speaking against Serbs, it’s just that this is something experienced by Croatians and Bosnians in all of our encounters with Serbs). And of course, the fault of some Christians (in this case the Christian Serbs) shouldn’t spread onto Christianity in its whole.

Beautiful! Thank-you. Now interchange in any words you like, like ‘shouldn’t spread onto Islam in its whole.’ or ‘but because they’re Hizbollah’ in there and you seem my point :thumbsup:
And again if some claim that you can’t then no we have to blame all Christianity for Serbian genocide

This right here is the flaw in your reasoning. Islam isn’t “an idea,” it is a religion that is claimed to be divinely revealed. One of the divinely revealed principles of Islam is that Muhammed is the ultimate prophet and a man fully submitted to Allah. As such, both his teachings and actions in life are above reproach. (I’m not making this stuff up, ask any muslim) Inconveniently enough, Muhammed was also a warlord who butchered his enemies (including those with whom he’d made peace treaties), had multiple wives, treated women as of inferior value to men, and clearly held grudges. These principles are inherently far more supportive of violence and oppression than the teachings of Jesus!

One can certainly cite nearly endless examples of Christians behaving badly. But neither me, you, the pope or even saints define Christianity. Jesus defines Christianity and when Christians commit injustices, they do so in SPITE of His teaching and example. When muslims wage violent jihad and kill their enemies, they do so in IMITATION of their founder. They have a rational claim to be acting in accordance with their religion that was revealed to them by Allah. Christians have no excuse. When they commit violence, they do so from the outcome of their sinful nature, not because Jesus taught them to. Jihadis, of course, ALSO commit violenace as an outcome of their sinful nature, but it doesn’t help when their religious principles enable that nature rather than attempt to restrain it.

Principles matter. Some principles ARE innately more prone to inciting violence than others. Surely you can’t argue otherwise?

The above is good thank-you. However, OK it might be classed nit picking, but my point stands as it is a logical fallacy rather like saying ‘Germany is treacherous’ as WWII propaganda claimed. We should rather be more specific, we could say Islam has generally shown more on an acceptance of the use of violence to say Christianity. But then we get into problems of which Islam etc. Its the same with abortion, because to say it promote violence isn’t really true as its over simplistic. We could argue it promotes saving of lives in the circumstances are when the mother will die if she delivers etc. Do you see what I’m trying to say? Is it making sense? But I whole heartedly agree that we need to study on many levels before we could even begin to make such a claim of any connection between Islam and violence.

OK I hope I’ve understood and I sort of see what you mean by idea and religion… though that wasn’t my point since I’m saying the conceptual cannot interfere physically with the physical. Anyway… You’ve made this judgement, for example the emotive ‘butchered’ used. It is fair to criticize constructively, however Muslims and non Muslims would disagree and say you are mistaken. Muslims then are imitating something other than what you claim.

Another matter: So if I’m right and Islam contains principles that at best enable violence and oppression and at worst endorse it, why aren’t the majority of muslims jihadis?

Answer: Because they are humans first and muslims second. Humans are created good, but are fallen due to sin. We retain that impulse towards good even though our natural capacity for fully achieving it is lost. Most muslims TRY to interpret the Quran in a manner compatible with the Natural Law and basic human goodness that is impressed on the heart of every human. It’s just an uphill battle for them given the reality of Muhammed’s warlike life.

The birth of the Quran was shrouded in a backdrop of violence. And that was a cue for the things to come in Islam.

When the Quran was compiled into a book from various sources of those who remembered the revelations that were received by Mohammad, all other versions of the Quran that were not accepted as the true Quran were burnt.

Burning of books or literatures constituted force. There is no parallel in the history of a peaceful world where books were forcefully burnt in order to get rid of the idea of their content. But this was how the Quran was formed.

When the principal guiding manual of a religion was brought about in a manner of force, perhaps it comes as no surprise that force which obviously begets violence would become a normal feature in the life of that religion.

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