Are we already in a “clash of civilizations” which most of our leaders, elected and unelected, are stubbornly refusing to acknowledge? Or are the attacks of Muslim terrorists in more than 30 non-Muslim and Muslim countries — always In The Name Of Allah — just the actions of a “tiny minority” which have nothing to do with the Koran and the thinking of the great majority of the world’s Muslims?
As a threshold answer to this two-part question, I would offer the following — If Islam is NOT a religion of peace, then it should be opposed frontally, without the misleading euphemism that the terrorists are attacking on the basis of “radical” Islam (for whenever that adjective is used, it clearly implies there is some other non-radical, peaceful Islam).
If however, Islam IS a religion of peace, we must consider whether it is woefully, pathetically ineffectual with regard to the Muslims killing and dying for ISIS after flocking to Syria from three dozen or more countries. And equally ineffectual with regard to the thousands of Muslims who have committed terrorists attacks in dozens of non-Muslim and Muslim countries on every continent except (as far as I know) Antartica.
And most particularly, if Islam is a religion of peace it is completely ineffectual in preventing or even condemning the suicide attacks of Palestinians against Israelis, their mass expression of hatred toward Jews, and the denial of Israel’s right to even exist. Islam is equally hopeless or helpless in keeping Iran’s Muslim government, hundreds of miles away and at no conceivable unprovoked military threat from Israel, from uttering a constant stream of blood-curdling threats and promises of its extinction.
So, at least on the basis of a very large amount of circumstantial evidence, it seems arguable that YES, Islam and Peace are forever incompatible. This is the first of perhaps a dozen blog entries on this same topic, the next of which will look at whether Islam’s long history suggests (or not) that Islam is incompatible with Peace.