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Islam and radical Islam: knowing the difference

Reader comment on item: Debate in London: Radical Islam vs. Civilization

Submitted by Abdullah (United States), Feb 8, 2007 at 19:49

Judging by many of these responses, the majority of you do not personally know any Muslims and, like the general public, your knowledge of Islam is purely based on what you read in the news. I'm not faulting you for this, as you're not expected to go out of you way to seek out this information. Even bearing this in mind, however, I must say that I'm surprised by how many people truely believe that Islam is a religion that preaches violence and fail to differentiate Islam from radical Islam, as Dr. Pipes put it and extremist Muslims from the majority of Muslims.

Like with any religion, you are going to have extremists on either side and Islam is (clearly) no exception. Just because I am Muslim does not mean that I agree with lunatics like Osama Bin Laden and his sort. I do not know a single Muslim (and I know lots) who does. Furthermore, it is important to realize that being prejudiced towards people, killing innocent people and other things that people like him promote are actually AGAINST the teachings of Islam.

Having been born and raised (in the US) Muslim and around Muslims (and non-Muslims) all of my life, I was never taught to hate a group of people because of their religion, skin color, sexual orientation, etc. I do not hate Christians or Jews or Hindus, etc. Just because I am Muslim does not mean that I have a right to force you to accept my faith or kill you. It doesn't work that way. As it says in the Quran (translation of the meaning), "you have your faith and I have mine". There is nothing in Islam that says we cannot coexist in peace. For those of you bashing our Prophet etc, I challenge you to find me 1 example where he violently forced people into Islam.

I urge all of you who do not know anything about Islam to read about it. Saying that "Islam is a religion that promotes violence" and that "all Muslims should be wiped off the face of the earth", you are showing just as much ignorance and prejudice as the radical Muslims who give this religion a bad name are.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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