“One may well ask how ‘the religion of peace’ became a brand of Islam, for the phrase cannot be found in the Qur’an, nor in the teachings of Muhammad.”
Days after the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, President Obama’s address to the nation concerning the threat of ISIS missed the mark. In fact, President Obama seemed at times to be more concerned with Americans ostracizing Muslim communities through “suspicion and hate,” than he was with protecting innocent American civilians from murder in the name of radical Islam.
It is high time for western political leaders to stop responding to terrorism by naming Islam as ‘the religion of peace’. It is time to have a hard conversation about Islam.
The West is in the throes of acute cognitive dissonance over Islam, whose brands are at war with each other. On the one hand we are told that Islam is the Religion of Peace. On the other hand we are confronted with an unending sequence of acts of terror committed in the name of the faith.
There is a depressing connection between the two brands: the louder one brand becomes, the more the volume is turned up on the other.
The slogan ‘Religion of Peace’ has been steadily promoted by western leaders in response to terrorism: George Bush Jr and Jacques Chirac after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7, David Cameron after drummer Lee Rigby was beheaded and after British tourists were slaughtered in Tunisia, and François Hollande after the Charlie Hebdo killings. After the beheading of 21 Copts on a Libyan beach Barak Obama called upon the world to “continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam.”
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