Is Islam inherently violent?

Today I had a most helpful discussion in class. As I has mentioned earlier, I had a debate on the topic of Islam, specifically is ” Islam inherently violent?” I took the pro position affirming that Islam is inherently violent on the basis of the Koranic writings, the expansion of Islam, their treatment of apostates, treatment of women, Muhammad’s example, and the application of Shari’a (Islamic Law) in nations all over the world. Though these arguments were forceful I was astounded by some of the consequences of this line of thinking. For instance, to affirm that Islam has grown through military conquest is also to affirm that in Israel’s history there was conquest through military extermination of entire cities.

Further, I have probed into the idea of how this affects my ideas on law and ethics in a thoroughly Christianized society in which the law of God reigns supreme in all the earth. If Muslisms and other non-Chistian religions must bow down to the law of God, then does it not follow that this is a form of violence, since imposition by nature is violent?

The excellent question raised by the defender of the con position was in regards to the very definition of “inherent.” That is, does the question ” Is Islam inherently violent” have any meaning since “inherent” is defined as a quality without which a religion cannot exist? The answer to this question at the outset would indicate that the entire discussion carries no real fruit since most would recognize that violence is not central to Islamic theology. But, I believe it is important to realize that “violence” is in fact necessary to Islamic theology, since if there were no initial military conquest there would be no expansion and if there were no expansion then the religion of Islam today would have been nothing more than a passing fad in the corridors of history. We would have discussed another religion this morning.

There is certainly much more work to be done in this topic, but for now I am convinced that the corruption of Islam is found in its main pillar, which is faith in the Islamic Creed which says, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” It is in the application and lack of submission to this mandate that the topic of violence becomes even more pertinent.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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