Thursday, November 10, 2011

Religion and extremism


"Like other religions, Islam has its extremist elements. It also has an illustrious history, which includes numerous contributions to the civilization we enjoy today. The terrorist attacks of 9-11 are no more representative of Islam than are those of the Ku Klux Klan of Christianity (the onerous deeds of the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda also come to mind). And just as Osama bin Laden rallied his followers by quoting religious scripture out of context (e.g. “slay the infidels wherever you find them”), so did the Dutch Reformed Church do precisely the same in justifying the practice of apartheid in South Africa. Religion is a double-edged sword that can either cause conflict or abate it. To focus on the former, while ignoring the latter is to deprive one’s self of a critically important asset in countering religious violence. To my way of thinking, the best way to deal with Islam is to make a concerted effort to understand it, first of all, by getting to know a Muslim."


source of the previous quote: ICRD Update September 2011





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