Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Question From Canada

Canadians are looking more closely at their society in the aftermath of the recent arrests of jihadists in Ontario. They are asking the question: Is Islam a religion of peace?
The recent disruption of an alleged homegrown Islamist terror plot has caused many Canadians to ask: How can multiculturalism -- which preaches tolerance above all else -- be squared with a militant, intolerant creed that demonizes non-believers?
When the Koran is cited by Muslims in response to questions about violence, it is often discussed in such a way as to shut down a meaningful exploration of the text. One or two mild passages are usually offered, as if these fully represented the contents of a scripture containing 6,000-plus verses. But the Koran -- literally "recitation" -- is a collection of diverse materials that include polemic, praise, eschatology, law, narrative, battle calls, and details of the domestic life of the Prophet.

In particular, the sourcebooks contain a great deal of material relating to violence. This article reviews that small part of the material that is directly relevant to any debate about the link between Islam and terror: the commands to fight and kill.
Read it all.