I’ve never bought into the idea that Islam is a religion of peace and freedom which is being perverted by a few extremists. Here’s a comment I found on a Guardian blogsite this morning:
‘The problem is that many followers of Islam (the majority in fact according to many polls) believe that the Qur’an is the one and only interpretation of God’s will, and to suggest otherwise is blasphemy, punishable by death.
‘This seems pretty unambiguous:
‘Qur’an (33:57) – “Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained”
‘Qur’an (33:61) – [continues from above] “Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”‘
‘Islam’ (continues the blogger) ‘needs a reformation of its holy text to remove such sentiments. Ironically, moderate imams and clerics who advocate change of it are gunned down/killed, whatever.’
Of course this applies, in varying degrees, to all ‘unreformed’ and dogmatic religions or ideologies; Catholic Christianity in the Middle Ages, for example; and Stalinist Communism in the 1930s and ’40s. It just so happens that it’s Islam (or lslamicism) that is the main offender today.
Or – rather – is the extreme dogmatism that young men (and a few women) who, for various reasons, WANT an extreme and violent dogmatism to identify with, go to today.