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Attitudes Towards The Religion Of Islam

678 words - 3 pages

Attitudes Towards the Religion of Islam

For centuries much of the Western world has targeted the Islamic religion as a threat to others. Many feel that the religion promotes hatred and violence while many others feel that Islam is a peaceful religion. With so many forms of the religion, though, it is hard to put a label on the religion as a whole as being either peaceful or violent. Perhaps the best way to try to answer these uncertainties about the nature of Islam is to look at its holy book, the Koran, and the practices of the religion’s followers.

The Koran is the best source of information for non-Muslims to refer to regarding Islamic beliefs since Islam is followed in so many forms, and there is no central authority that can be consulted for a definitive decree of Islamic regulation. The Koran dictates to its followers what is morally right just as the Bible does for Christians. The Koran discusses a man named Mohammed who is looked at by Muslims as the perfect follower of the Islam faith. His role in the Koran parallels that of Jesus in the Bible. The difference between Mohammed and Jesus, though, is that Jesus lives a passive and merciful life in the Bible while Mohammed comes to power in the Koran by, as Seth Stevenson explains, “killing and slaying unbelievers with harshness and without mercy” (Stevenson 2). The Koran is filled with peaceful verses before the point when Mohammed gains strength through battle. For example, the Koran says ‘If anyone murders an [innocent] person, it will be as if he has murdered the whole of humanity. And if anyone saves a person it will be as if he has saved the whole of humanity’ (Stevenson 2). However, after Mohammed’s rise to power, the Koran is filled with so called “sword verses” that portray a completely different attitude toward violence (Stevenson 2). One of these verses tells how Mohammed “took a handful of gravel when the battle was extremely heated...

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