“Peaceful” Islam?

I fully believe that everyone is well-served when the truth is spoken in bold but loving ways. While I have a tendency to be sarcastic, I try hard not to let that tendency affect my writing or Christian speaking too much, especially when it comes to comparing Christianity and other world religions. But I have to be honest: sometimes sarcasm is impossible to resist. Did you see this from the Associate Press?

“The imam behind a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero cautioned Wednesday that moving them could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and imperil national security.”

So let me get this straight:

1) Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion (which we were told repeatedly during the Terry Jones fiasco which he has, thankfully, brought to an end by cancelling the Koran burning)

2) The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by a small, radical fringe of Islam and not supported by Muslim people generally

3) If you move a planned mosque so that it gets built farther away from Ground Zero, Muslim people all over the world will attack?

Now, technically, the imam said that the backlash would be from Muslim “extremists”. But his statement goes on to say that moving this planned mosque (not cancelling it, mind you, just moving it…and it hasn’t even been built yet) will make it easier for these extremists to recruit and wage war, so he’s clearly suggesting that a broad swath of Muslims will be enraged by moving this mosque and that their response will be violent.

How does that square with the idea that Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion?

Please understand: I’m NOT saying we should attack Muslims or live in fear of Islam. Islam is a major world religion with millions of followers, most of whom probably don’t approve of violence. Nor am I saying that Christianity hasn’t had its share of violent episodes throughout history (although I would argue that the kind of violence advocated by the Bible and the Koran are significantly different…more on that soon). I’m just saying that these constant cries of “Islam is a fundamentally peaceful religion” sound pretty silly in light of the facts – and Islam’s own teachers’ warnings.