I am disappointed in the Star Press for publishing a biased and uninformed opinion piece in its Sunday, June 21 paper. The article “A Peaceful Religion?” manages to malign the faith of over a billion people around the world today by claiming that Islam “is intrinsically not a peaceful or tolerant religion.”
Along with the prophet Mohammed, Muslims follow the teachings of Jesus, Moses, and many of the same prophets as Christians and Jews. Early Muslims lived peacefully with their neighbors of other religious groups, especially Jews and Christians, who Muslims respect as “People of the Book,” or people who have received divine guidance. Under Islamic states, people of other faiths had their own houses of worship and practiced their religions freely. Any modern instances to the contrary contradict the teachings of Islam, and the actions of a few should not be seen as a reflection of the entire religion.
The Bible, Old Testament, and Qur’an all contain passages that address warfare, and when these verses are learned in their proper context, it is clear that these religions do not advocate wanton violence or brutality.
The author rightly acknowledged that “most of the world's Muslims are peaceful in their relations with other people." Peace is the norm because that is the true essence of Islam.