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Religion of peace

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Lua error in Module:Effective_protection_level at line 60: attempt to index field 'TitleBlacklist' (a nil value). The term religion of peace has been applied to different religions including Islam and Christianity to describe their allegedly peaceful natures.

Usage of the term[edit]

In the past the epithet "religion of peace and good will towards men" has been applied to Christianity.[1]

In the 1960s, Malcolm X, acting as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam, said on multiple occasions that Islam was a "religion of peace".[2][3]

In 1996, the Organisation of The Islamic Conference agreed to call for "pragmatic and constructive steps to counter the negative propaganda against Islam; to remove and rectify misunderstandings; and to present the true image of Islam: the religion of peace and tolerance."[4]

In September 2001, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush said: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war."[5][6][7][8] Some have pointed out that the word "Islam" is etymologically related to the Arabic word salām meaning "peace".[9] This prompted criticism from some quarters[10] and a poll of United States Evangelical Protestant leaders taken in 2002 revealed that only 10% agreed with Bush that Islam was synonymous with peace.[11]

Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia said in 2002, "Islam, as I said, is a religion of peace. However through the centuries, deviations from the true teachings of Islam take place. And so [people who call themselves] "Muslims" kill despite the injunction of their religion against killing especially of innocent people.[12]

Dalil Boubakeur, mufti of the Paris Mosque, said in 2006, "The prophet did not found a terrorist religion, but a religion of peace."[13]

It has been applied to Islam on some cases because of terrorist groups emerging from the religion and perceived attitudes shown by the followers of Islam towards issues relating to the religion.[12][14][15]

Following the 2015 San Bernardino attack, US President Barack Obama used the term, as part of his efforts to counter a perceived anti-Muslim bias, in an address following the attack,[16] and in his first visit to a US mosque.[17]

On 18 March 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Islam a religion of peace and called terrorism a dividing force, lauding the peaceful message of Sufism, at World Sufi Conference.[18]

Muslim protesters carry signs reading "Behead all those who insult the Prophet" and "Our dead are in Paradise. Your dead are in HELL!"

Sherman Jackson says that the expression does not imply a rejection of the laws of Jihad, but rather the idea that Islam desires "a state of permanent, peaceful coexistence with other nations and peoples who are not Muslims".[19]

Jihad literally means "struggle" or "striving" in Arabic. This phrase appears in the Quran in numerous places and therefore refer to a variety of nonviolent efforts, such as the struggle to become a better person.

The term "The Religion of Peace" is used mockingly by critics of Islam, such as right-wing commentator Ann Coulter.[15] Philosopher and New Atheist writer Sam Harris wrote, "The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you."[20]

When asked by reporters in 2005 if Islam was a religion of peace, Pope Benedict XVI stated that some elements of Islam can favor peace, but it also has other elements.[21]

Islamist Sayyid Qutb wrote that Islam is the religion of peace in the sense of saving all of mankind from worshiping anything other than Allah and submitting all of mankind to him.[22]

On 13 May 2015, ISIL released an audio message by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who asserted that Islam is not a religion of peace, but rather the religion of fighting. [23]

Following the 2017 Barcelona attacks, the cover of Charlie Hebdo ran with an image of a van driving away from bloodied victims with the caption "Islam, religion of peace... Eternal".[24][25][26]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Islam : Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani, Rūḥ, Isaac, Abu Bakr, Saudi Arabia, Uthman ibn Affan, Sujud Tilawa
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  • Christianity and other religions
  • Peace in Islamic philosophy
  • Christianity and violence
  • Pacifism in Islam
  • Christian terrorism


  1. Defensive War not Inconsistent with a Religion of Peace, a sermon, Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday, 1860, p. 11 Quote: "While however, it is manifest and unquestionable that Christianity is emphatically a religion of peace and good will towards men — men of all countries and of all climes — it is assuredly not a religion of absolute and passive non-resistance."
  2. Nessen, Stephen. "Remembering Malcolm X: Rare Interviews and Audio". WNYC - New York Public Radio. WNYC - New York Public Radio. Retrieved 1 April 2018. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us the religion of Islam, which is a religion of peace.
  3. Malcolm X: Speech excerpt from Los Angeles (speech). Educational Video Group. 1962. Retrieved 1 April 2018 – via Alexander Street. They also say that, uh, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a draft dodger. No he wasn't. He just refused to go to the army because he was a man of peace. He was a minister of a religion of peace. He was teaching peace, so he outright refused to go to the army.
  4. Littman, David (September 1999). "Islamism Grows Stronger at the United Nations". The Middle East Quarterly.
  5. Merskin, Debra. "The construction of Arabs as enemies: Post-September 11 discourse of George W. Bush." Mass Communication & Society 7.2 (2004): 157-175.
  6. Smidt, Corwin E. "Religion and American attitudes toward Islam and an invasion of Iraq." Sociology of Religion 66.3 (2005): 243-261.
  7. Lincoln, Bruce. "Bush’s God Talk." Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (2006): 275.
  8. ""Islam is Peace" Says President" (Press release). Office of the Press Secretary. 17 September 2001. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  9. Armstrong, Karen (23 September 2001). "The True, Peaceful Face Of Islam". Time. Retrieved 22 July 2017. The very word Islam, which means "surrender," is related to the Arabic salam, or peace.
  10. Till, Farrell (November 2001). "The Real Culprit". The Skeptical Review. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2007. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Green, John (7 April 2003). "Evangelical Views of Islam". EPPC and beliefnet. Retrieved 22 November 2007.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Islam, Terrorism, and Malaysia's Response (page 2)". Asia Society. 4 February 2002.
  13. "Prophet cartoons enraging Muslims". International Herald Tribune. 2 February 2006. Archived from the original on 4 February 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2007. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. e.g Craig Winn when writing about Archived 2020-09-22 at the Wayback Machine a debate with Jalal Abualrub said For, how could a "religion of peace" have such an open-ended and encompassing edict to destroy anyone who chooses not to submit to it?
  15. 15.0 15.1 Siddiqi, Imraan (5 June 2003). "Ann Coulter's Foul Mouth: The Blond Hate Machine". Counterpunch. Archived from the original on 13 June 2003. Retrieved 22 November 2007. Ann on the other hand, apparently missed this Sunday school lesson, and continues to ridicule Islam sarcastically as the "religion of peace" whenever a negative story arises within the Muslim world.
  16. U.S. Muslims Reach Out to Address Questions on Islam and Violence, The New York Times, Laurie Goodstein, 22 December 2015
  17. Obama, in Mosque Visit, Denounces Anti-Muslim Bias, The New York Times, Gardiner Harris, 3 February 2016
  18. "At Sufi meet, Modi lauds Islam as a religion of peace". thehindu.com.
  19. Jackson, Sherman (December 2001). "Jihad and the Modern World" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2017. "... Religion of peace" connotes, rather, that Islam can countenance a state of permanent, peaceful coexistence with other nations and peoples who are not Muslims. In other words, contrary to the belief that Islam can only accept a world that is entirely populated by Muslims Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  20. Harris, Sam (5 May 2008). "Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 19 March 2011. (updated 25 May 2011)
  21. "Pope says terror attacks cannot be defined as anti-Christian". Catholic News Agency. 25 July 2005. Retrieved 25 February 2016. I would not like to use big words to apply generic labels. It certainly contains elements that can favor peace, it also has other elements: we must always seek the best elements.
  22. Qutb, Sayyid. Fiqh al-Da'wah. IslamQA. pp. 217–222. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2007. The defeatists should fear Allah lest they distort this religion and cause it to become weak on the basis of the claim that it is a religion of peace. Yes, it is the religion of peace but in the sense of saving all of mankind from worshiping anything other than Allah and submitting all of mankind to the rule of Allah. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  23. "ISIS Caliph Baghdadi in New Audio Message: 'Islam Was Never a Religion of Peace,' Our Jihad Is 'The War of All Muslims'". The Christian Post. 15 May 2015. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels. O Muslims, go to war everywhere. It is the duty of every Muslim.
  24. "Islam religione di pace" Charlie sfida i musulmani, Il Giornale, 23 August 2017
  25. 'Charlie Hebdo' dedica su portada al atentado de Las Ramblas de Barcelona, Publico, 23 August 2017

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