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Is Islam a religion of Peace?

Updated on July 15, 2008

There is no doubt generally that Islam today - is peaceful. But it is virtually impossible to deny that Radical Islamists practice 7th century Islam and demand it of both Muslims and infidels.

It's growing and it's dangerous - surely that's significant. It makes no sense debating whether modern day Islam is peaceful or not. To do so is like debating who left the gate open and let the horse out - it doesn't matter. The horse is out. The horse of radicalism is the debate not the corral of peacefulness.

Let's talk about the horse.

Christianity is not a state religion. Jesus never made it that way - hated the thought of it - and fought it His entire ministry. Many defenders of Islam portray the two religions as similar by comparing some of the historical violence as reason not to single out the violence in historical Islam. They have similar histories they claim. Those barbaric acts by Christian religious states were wrong and Jesus would say they were too - unless He was kidding about the peace He talked about so often. Christianity as taught by Jesus doesn't support state religion - ever - but Islam as taught by Mohamed does.

Islam IS the state - the religion can not legally be separated from the state. The Fundamental Islamists are correct; they quote the Koran accurately and are merely attempting to return modern watered down peaceful Islam to it's - state religion context - as lived throughout it's entire history until the early 20th century.

In Iran, Khomeini instituted Sharia law and his successors created a Theocracy whereby the state and religion were one. They did not make this up out of their imagination. They got it from the Koran and historical precedent. In their writings, they claim that modern Islam had left it's historical roots. This is the underlying basis in which Iran supports terrorism and Jihad throughout the Middle East.

Similarly, Saudi Arabian Wahhabism is also a fundamentalist belief. In this belief, the foundational concept is that Islam has left it's roots and needs to follow it's original methods. Inherent in that is Jihad. Once this belief had settled into the peninsula, it was promoted with a rod of steel. However, it was interrupted by the discovery of oil. Wahhabism diminished as western oil companies developed the oil districts and Saudi rulers were flush with cash. Never the less, the horse was out of the gate. Many followers of the return to fundamentalism of Islam in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, were appalled at the westward drift of Islamic perspective. They in turn countered the apostasy with more violent methods.

The birth of Al Qaeda and numerous other fundamental Islamic sects, and State Theocratic Islam as in Iran, and the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan, are really a revival of Islam as practiced in it's first 300 years of violence and expansion. It is interesting to consider that all three revivals happened independently of each other.

Does that make it a coincidence or a trend based on fact?

All of these movements have the identical goal - a goal that mirrors Islam's roots. They want a single ruler, they want a single state and they want it ruled by Sharia law as practiced in the beginning. That in and of itself is hard to argue with as to whether it is right or wrong. The wrongness comes in by the methods they employ. The state they want will obviously be violent and they want to spread it over the entire world.

Don't get mad at me for saying it. They say it in virtually all their writings and speeches. Be mad at them. If there really is an Islam of peace it rests not in these movements but in the mass of Muslims who are silent about those movements and their goals and methods.

Never the less, not too many are talking about these silent majorities, they are discussing the violent minorities and they are fearful that they may become majorities very quickly. Not because they have a better message - but because they use brutal violence to spread their message. They say their message comes from the mouth of the prophet Mohamed. Whether that is so or not as debated by the peaceful Muslims is irrelevant. Peaceful movements are not dangerous.

That said, the discussion is many splintered among people who are afraid of the one and not very understanding of the other. In their ignorance they misplace the blame onto all Muslims but in any event - they are scared to death. Their fear is justified even though their words may be harsh and ill informed at times.

I would much rather overlook ignorance than be blind to an expanding terror.

Concerning the comparison of Christianity to Islam one has to remember that Christianity is far from State Government if followed as taught by Jesus. Christians claim they are not of this world, render unto Caesar what is his and the Lord his, and as best they can - be at peace with all men. Now whether it is practiced that way is beside the point. It is taught that way. That is a far cry from how Islam in it's original context was taught, lived and grew - exactly like the Islamists want to return to.

Comparing the violence of the 1st 300 yrs of Islam to the violence we see today - which uses those 300 yrs as their model - is the horse that left the corral of peaceful modern Islam.

The 1st 300 yrs of Christianity were not violent at all - and clearly there are no Christian Fundamental sects attempting to takes us back to the violent roots as practiced in it's origins. There was none - unless one considers the violence practiced AGAINST Christians as indicative of how violent Christians were. So the argument is disingenuous to say the least which compares Christian violence to Islamic violence at discordant periods of their histories.

It wasn't until States married religion that Christianity as practiced by states became violent. And this, some 800 years after it's peaceful and humble birth. Even then, the state persecuted it's enemies which were other religous and secular states, and Christians refusing to be absorbed into state religion.

Jesus clearly taught how the Kingdom of Heaven beginning with John the Baptist would suffer violence and that non religous men would attempt to make the kingdom of God on earth through violence . Thus they killed John, then Jesus, then the disciples and the early believers by the millions.

Matthew 11:12

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

True Christianity suffers - false Christianity is violent because they will not repent and enter into the Kingdom of God. They wish to impose it violently. But Jesus said my Kingdom is not of this world. For if it was my followers would fight.

John 18:36

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.

Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.",

Then for 300 years and deep into history - His followers were persecuted mercilessly and they suffered it. Eventually, the various states absorbed a great deal of Christianity and made it their state religions in direct opposition to Jesus's teachings and example. That generally lasted until the founding of the United States where it was once again separated.

The origins of the two religions are poles apart. Origins bespeak truth more than interpretations by later generations. Thus we see Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims both attempting to return to their origins in these last days.

Jesus's prophecy concerning the state of the Western world at the end times - and what Christians were to do when they see it - was this,

"And I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, unless you share in her sins, and unless you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities'" (Revelation 18:4,5).

These are the same sins that the Fundamentalist Muslims accuse us of - and they are correct in many ways of what they see. However, it is their prescription for solving the sins of the West which abhors us all. Khomeini was a great Fundamentalist teacher. His message is spreading throughout the Middle East. Several nations are embracing it, among them Syria, the Islamist minority in Turkey whose President wants to transform it into a modern Iran (so he says) , Bahrain, portions of Lebanon, Azerbaijan, a third of Iraq and most of it's government and portions of Gaza. Here is what Khomeini taught when alive and the references he quoted. (He's speaking as a recognized Islamic scholar)

“Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world....But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world”

Khomeini also rebuked the Islam-is-a-religion-of-peace concept by saying:

“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]….Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Qur’anic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.”

No one can show that particular Christians teach these things and so equate the two as equal. And no one can show a Christian person of such hatred - that might have even a following of 1000's - let alone 150 million like the Khomeini followers - and the nation states - that are embracing these ideas in one form or another.

Their words say a whole lot more about Islam than Islam says about their words.


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    • AlexK2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I think the "Silent" Muslims are sitting back to see who wins this conflict of civilisations and will go with the majority.

    • AlexK2009 profile image


      8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      A decade back one Islamic state (Saudi as I recall) executed a man for possessing books on Polytheism.

      More recently they arrested and are planning to execute a man who appeared on TV as a psychic.

      Asatru, a polytheistic religion, is an official religion in Iceland. I assume the Saudis would also arrest and execute a follower of Asatru.

      In the UK there have been religiously motivated attacks on Christians by Muslims, though the police and authorities try to hide this fact.

      MEZO: you wrote

      "Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Quran says: "God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just." (Qur'an 60:8)"

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm confident you are and you do. I am not denigrating individuals within the body of Islam. My attempt here is to merely show how radicalism was, is and will be.

      I could just have easily shown the ancient radicalism of Catholicism and Protestantism's radical response to it. But never the less, there is and always will be true follows of God who shun violence in the name of peace. Not pursue violence in the name of their God. I also, am a lover of peace. May God bless you and give you wisdom.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i am a muslim and i love peace islam is peace.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are very proficient with these article's Prophecy Teacher, and maybe the best here on religion, but if God can't speak for himself to me he need not gather too much attention to himself. So to me it doesn't matter what religion anyone might serve in life. It has been the same for thousands of years and it will always be the same.

    • Mezo profile image


      10 years ago from Egypt

      hi, as a Muslim, Allow me to clarify somethings in my terrible English:

      "In Iran, Khomeini instituted Sharia law and his successors created a Theocracy whereby the state and religion were one. They did not make this up out of their imagination."

      let's not forget that Iran is Shiaa, not Sunna like the majority of Muslims..And not everyone that says "Im following Islam laws" is really doing that, Does he understand Islamic laws, first?

      "The birth of Al Qaeda and numerous other fundamental Islamic sects, and State Theocratic Islam as in Iran, and the Taliban of Afghanistan and Pakistan, are really a revival of Islam as practiced in it's first 300 years of violence and expansion."

      WELL, Hello! I'm a Muslim and I'm telling you that :

      1-The actions of AL-Qaida and Taliban are way out of and beyond the Islamic beliefs!

      2-The first 300 years of violence. I know alot of people think that Islam was spread by the sword as alot of social studies and christian missionaries try to claim. but it's just not true.. there is alot of christians now in our arab and Islamic countries whose ancestors didn't convert to Islam,

      Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Quran says: "God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are just." (Qur'an 60:8)

      "“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter............etc"

      Khomeini......again, the man is...what can I say, ISLAM DIDN'T SAY KILL UNBELIEVERS, I can't be more clear

      Freedom of religion is laid down in the Quran itself: "There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error." (Qur'an 2:256)

      Now I don't think Khomeini has read that before,

      Now please, what you wrote in this article about christianity is up to you, you know better, but most of the information you wrote about Islam is TOTALLY WRONG. Sorry, no offense but it's my religion and I know it well.

      Putting some saying said by Khomeini doesn't mean this is Islam, Alot of crimes are committed in the name of Islam, producing huge misunderstanding, so please for everyone if want to know about Islam searh in Islamic books/websites, read the Quran! Why would you take all your information about Islam from non-muslim sources or from the minds of the violent minority that THINK they are following God's orders!?

      If you get your information about Islam from Osama Bin-Laden and Khomeini speeches then you know nothing about Islam...

      sorry, no offense but I just wanted to share my opinion and correct wrong things said about what I beleive in !

      for a summary aboutwar is Islam you can read :


    • Prophecy Teacher profile imageAUTHOR

      Prophecy Teacher 

      10 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Martin Luther believed that Antichrist was both Catholic and Islamic. He saw them as the two horns of the Antichrist. In his day, he was attempting to reform the one while Europe was fighting with the other. He understood the problems with both very well, but that was as far as he got with prophecy. He didn't believe that the book of Revelation belonged in the Bible but because Polycarp was John's follower, and Iraneus said Polycarp gave Revelation authorship by John - he relented. He did not understand it - and was the only book of the Bible that he did not do a commentary on. Never the less, he surmised that if it could be understood at all, it most likely would be understood as a historical text of the history of the church. Others took that and immediately created the school of Historicism. Beginning in the 1600's until the 1840's - almost all Protestants believed and understood the world this way.

      One of the biggest proponents of this method during the late 1700's was Issac Newton - the scientist - who wrote a million words on prophecy during a 50 yr period. Newton studied to disprove the date setters of his day because there was a prophetic frenzy which lasted decades. Similar to today. One of his closest colleagues was ate up with it and had the ear of the Queen. He missed so many dates that Newton disowned him and began his own studies.

      In his studies - he determined that the end could not come about until at least 2060 - for him - some 250 yrs future. He went on to say it could even be further and gave some other dates 25-150 yrs out from there. He arrived at those numbers using the Historicist method. (Essentially applying the 1260 to the Year 800 AD - the yr Charlemagne was crowned)

      Unfortunately, 60 yrs later in America, Miller used Historicism to come up with an 1844 date. Miller's great disappointment and the one the following year - left almost a universal distaste for Historicism. Out of that Prophetic movement came - Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists and others - continuing the traditions that had been handed down - with some controversial additions in theology. Although the roots of the early historicist teachings are recognizable in many of their beliefs, the good gets watered down because the bad is mingled in; at least from a fundamentalist's view. That's why they're scared to go near it. But they shouldn't be - the view precedes by several centuries the formation of those several denominations.

      In any event - after the great second coming disappointments of Miller in the 1840'/50's - the Dispensationalist movement started and we've been quagmired ever since in a fantasy end time view. Once CI Scofield put his Bible Commentary together and then his Bible became a generational best seller among many Protestant Denominations - Baptist/Pentecostal etc; The teaching became entrenched.

      If you get a chance dlarson, read a couple of my other hubs which depicts this East West (Catholic/Ecumenical - Islamic/Mahdi) paradigm - and how they interact in the last days. I'll be posting some 15 more in the next 3 weeks or so. Thanks for your interest!

    • dlarson profile image


      10 years ago from Priest River, ID

      Even more interesting is that Muhammads first wife was Catholic! Coincidence that Muhammad started a movement similar in worship style to Catholicism?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Not a bad hub. One thing I have been studying lately is the crusades. So far what I can find out is that it was the Catholics who fought against the Muslims to take over the city of Jerusalem. It seems the followers of Islam had captured the city previously in their following of the words of Muhammad.

      I have found out a few other things also that may or may not be true. I plan on writing a hub about some of this stuff when I can figure out what's right and what's not.


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