LETTER: Not a Religion of Peace by Brooks Lyman
Steve Bocsenowski makes a good case for ecumenicalism. Unfortunately, he falls into the usual liberal trap: Islam, unlike the other major religions of the world, is not a "religion of peace" in the same sense that other religions are "religions of peace."
Take, for example, Christianity: The gospels and other scriptures preach peace and love for one's fellow man, even one's enemy. Christians, on the other hand, being fallen human beings, have committed many acts of violence, sometimes even in the name of Christianity. That some Christians are violent is in spite of Christ's teachings, not because of them....
Islam, on the other hand, contains in its holy scriptures - the teachings of God brought to us through Muhammad - exhortations to violence, conquest and intolerance toward non-Muslims. The love and charity towards one's fellows is, in Islam, reserved to fellow Muslims.
Most Muslims are peaceful and tolerant toward all of their fellow human beings, but they are that way in spite of Islam, not because of it. This is a very great and important difference, and it makes it easy for radical Islamists to simply point to the Koran and the Hadith and say - correctly - that God's holy word supports intolerance and violent Jihad.
I say the above not to be intolerant of Islam, but to be intolerant - and wary - of some Muslims who would take their holy scriptures literally when they should be taken allegorically and spiritually. If we do not recognize the problem posed by an un-reformed Islam, then we are doomed to repeat Boston - and 9/11 - over and over again.
There is more that can be said about the history of Islam, but not in this short letter.