Is Islam really a religion of peace?

Islam is often referred to as "the religion of peace" both by supporters of Islam and also as an ironic statement by critics. This question is more relevant than ever as the Western world finds itself increasingly influenced by Islamic culture and values.

Is Islam really a religion of peace?

Yes because... No because...

Jizya oppression and Zakat

Jizya was a tax paid by non-muslims in Muslim states/Countries.
Muslims paid (still pay) another tax called Zakat.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakat]]

We pay taxes to the government even now. No matter which country we live in.
Does everyone pay an equal tax? No

Jewish traders had more money (still do) than other citizens of Ottoman, as well as Arab states and paid a higher tax(still do; Proportional income taxes; they are called).

The profession of loyalty to the nation you are a citizen of is part of patriotism. It is required by most countries in the world; even today. America the poster child for the free nation; requires every citizen to profess loyalty to God and country. So, the profession of loyalty to Muslim rulers was not quite as evil and backward as FreeSmith Steve would like us to believe. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya]]

The requirement was to profess loyalty to the leadership,nation and government and not to Islam(that would be conversion). Free smith seems to not know that loyalty to a 'religion' is the same as accepting it.

"Jews and Christians were tolerated if they: acknowledged Islamic superiority accepted Islamic power paid a tax called Jizya to the Muslim rulers and sometimes paid higher rates of other taxes avoided blasphemy"- baseless bunkum!

Nevermind Islamic Spain! That was the end of the 'Golden Years',for the Islamic Empire. This is because of the corruption that had seeped into the society due to the lack of religious application.
When you want to know what the real essence of Islam is, then don't look at the examples of ordinary muslims you find around the world. Look at the example of the prophet of Islam. Muhammed (may peace be upon him - pbuh) set the constitution of humanity after his migration from Mecca to Madina. In Madina he brought together all the people of Madina and declared that no jew, no christian will be forced to act upon the islamic religion. Nobody will be discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, etc. A shura (government) was created using the democratic sytem of voting we know today, in the government, there were many representatives for the different faith minorities. This is just one example.
As jurist, Dr Tahir-ul-qadri stated "Islam has been misrepresented by the east and misunderstood by the west". Take Shariah Law for example, those minority extremists using the name of Islam for there own political gain have created that misunderstanding of the law. Islam does not allow the implementation of shariah Law on non-muslim land. An example of the peaceful legislations set out in the shariah law is that of the rights of non muslims in muslims land. If the muslim people are having to fight a defensive war (as that is the only type of war allowed to fight but even that is disliked), then every able muslim man must fight in the war. However, non-muslim citizens are free with no burden on them of having to fight the war.
Another example earlier towards the spanish era you talk about. A muslim knocked down a churchb in muslim lands to build a mosque. The christians were not happy about what had happened and it was clearly unfair. The muslim sultan of the land at that time heard about what had happened and ordered the desctruction of the mosque and the rebuilding of the church.
Architecture, which you can even see now in modern Turkey, Iran etc where there are beautiful architectures of churches similar patterns and designs to that of mosques. Evidence to show the multi ethnic and multi religipous societies the Islamic empire had. Islam means peace, Islam teaches peace and has taught peace to humanity since it's beggining.

Steve Metzeler/Freesmith

In Islamic Spain, Jews and Christians were tolerated if they:
acknowledged Islamic superiority
accepted Islamic power
paid a tax called Jizya to the Muslim rulers and sometimes paid higher rates of other taxes
avoided blasphemy
did not try to convert Muslims
complied with the rules laid down by the authorities. These included: restrictions on clothing and the need to wear a special badge
restrictions on building synagogues and churches
not allowed to carry weapons
could not receive an inheritance from a Muslim
could not bequeath anything to a Muslim
could not own a Muslim slave
a dhimmi man could not marry a Muslim woman (but the reverse was acceptable)
a dhimmi could not give evidence in an Islamic court
dhimmis would get lower compensation than Muslims for the same injury

A Dhimmi is a person that is either Christian or Jewish. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhimmi]]

Is Islam really a religion of peace?

Yes because... No because...

We should not judge a whole population on the attrocities committed by a misguided few.

If you are religious you would know that in your own faith you find certitude, peace, salvation while you are in pain. For billions of Muslims around the world Islam is a source of comfort, the Qu'ran, guidelines to ones life. It is a pity that a misguided minority has used their idea of 'Faith' as a reason to harm others. If we judge the whole Islamic population on the basis of a foolish minority we would be acting just as unreasonably as those who inflict violence on people with different beliefs.

Is Islam really a religion of peace?

Yes because... No because...

The Quran mandates and praises violence

The last Prophet had two Jewish wives (Farkhanda Noor)

If Muslims were supposed to kill all non-Muslims then the Ottoman rule(Moorish) rule in Spain would not be described as the Golden age of learning and would rather, have been A "Muslim" Spanish Inquisition(Christian rulers in Spain mass killings/massacres of all non-Christians beheadings etc) rerun. [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/spain_1.shtml]]

Cat Stevens and the peace train.-
[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLG91tOLPdQ]]

[[http://www.jannah.org/sisters/marr.html]]

Counterargument: Actually, the religion through the mother's blood line thing is Judaism not Islam.

And I'm sorry; there is dispute over the marriage and children of Jesus. But all those who claim he had children assume those children were Christian; And all the Jewish Prophets before him had Jewish children; though technically the Judeo-Christian Prophets are also Prophets of Islam so, no they didn't have Muslim Children.

How many children did the last Muslim Prophet have, were all of them Muslim? There's no record of the number of kids; even the number of wives and concubines is under dispute.

F.Y.I second class citizenship was a pretty good deal back when the Moors ruled Spain.(Compare to other rulers of the time).
First you erroneously claimed, that the Quran states all nonMuslims should be murdered and now that you've been put in your place with a reminder of how non-muslims have been living peacefully in Muslim countries from the beginning of Islam; you have an issue with second class citizenship (which might I remind you is nothing like murder). I will now comment on the verses you have cited a reference by which I can check the credibility and context of their meaning.
Humanitarianism in terms of equal rights for people of all races and beliefs is "still" in process; even with a mass acknowledgment of it being moral/right.

And I do not think it would be wrong to state that these ethics are rooted in the Muslim and Christian beliefs that all men/human-beings are equal; God's justice is value-neutral and so forth.

The first verse quoted on the right is in the context of war and can be summed up as "fight with those who fight with you" and not kill all infidels like the ignorant on my right wants people to believe. The "them' being referenced are clearly those "who fight with you'; this is more than apparent when you read from the 90th and then onto the 92nd verse, which calls for mercy:

"002.190
YUSUFALI: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
PICKTHAL: Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
SHAKIR: And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.

002.191
YUSUFALI: And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
PICKTHAL: And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
SHAKIR: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

002.192
YUSUFALI: But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. "- [[http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/002.qmt.html]]

Similarly the context (before and after verses) of the second verse which is really/clearly about charity, safeguarding the right to freedom of worship and fighting against oppression:

"002.215
YUSUFALI: They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well.
PICKTHAL: They ask thee, (O Muhammad), what they shall spend. Say: that which ye spend for good (must go) to parents and near kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer. And whatsoever good ye do, lo! Allah is Aware of it.
SHAKIR: They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.

002.216
YUSUFALI: Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
PICKTHAL: Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
SHAKIR: Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.

002.217
YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: "Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of Allah to prevent access to the path of Allah, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members." Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter. Nor will they cease fighting you until they turn you back from your faith if they can. And if any of you Turn back from their faith and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the Hereafter; they will be companions of the Fire and will abide therein.
PICKTHAL: They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel His people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can. And whoso becometh a renegade and dieth in his disbelief: such are they whose works have fallen both in the world and the Hereafter. Such are rightful owners of the Fire: they will abide therein.
SHAKIR: They ask you concerning the sacred month about fighting in it. Say: Fighting in it is a grave matter, and hindering (men) from Allah's way and denying Him, and (hindering men from) the Sacred Mosque and turning its people out of it, are still graver with Allah, and persecution is graver than slaughter; and they will not cease fighting with you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can; and whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever-- these it is whose works shall go for nothing in this world and the hereafter, and they are the inmates of the fire; therein they shall abide"[[http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/002.qmt.html]]

I'm sure anyone can go to the USC website and check out the verses each of the other quoted verses are sandwiched between and intelligently interpret the most likely meaning thus. But the quotations above should be enough for anyone to understand the true meaning of the first two verses and not what it is inferred by the moron who quoted them in isolation.

Also, if you judge a religion based only on their holy book, one would likely judge the religious human race (over 95%) as highly violent and prone to excessive punishments of crimes. Simply picking out Quran verses supporting violence is not complete proof that Islam is a violent religion; look at the history of Islam, the Golden Age in Europe, the peace and prosperity of the Ottoman Empire (before Europe overtook it in technology). If anything, Christianity is a more violent religion than Islam, given the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and other historical examples.

Let's see:

"couldn't own a Muslim slave; didn't try to convert Muslims;" etc.
That was Islamic SPAIN, not where it started.~ christen

The Quran has plenty of verses that mandate the violence against non-Muslims which we can observe on a daily basis. Here are just a few examples (with 3 different translations):

002.191
YUSUFALI: And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.
PICKTHAL: And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
SHAKIR: And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

002.216
YUSUFALI: Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.
PICKTHAL: Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
SHAKIR: Fighting is enjoined on you, and it is an object of dislike to you; and it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you love a thing while it is evil for you, and Allah knows, while you do not know.

008.012
YUSUFALI: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
PICKTHAL: When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.
SHAKIR: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

009.005
YUSUFALI: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

There are plenty of other verses with similar content, but these should more than suffice to disarm the myth of a peace-oriented Islam. Bringing up the context of the verses also fails to negate the violent nature of Islam.

Counterargument: From the same BBC-source:

In Islamic Spain, Jews and Christians were tolerated if they:

acknowledged Islamic superiority

accepted Islamic power

paid a tax called Jizya to the Muslim rulers and sometimes paid higher rates of other taxes

avoided blasphemy

did not try to convert Muslims

complied with the rules laid down by the authorities. These included:
restrictions on clothing and the need to wear a special badge

restrictions on building synagogues and churches

not allowed to carry weapons

could not receive an inheritance from a Muslim

could not bequeath anything to a Muslim

could not own a Muslim slave

a dhimmi man could not marry a Muslim woman (but the reverse was acceptable)

a dhimmi could not give evidence in an Islamic court

dhimmis would get lower compensation than Muslims for the same injury

Peace through second-class citizenship?

The Yes-side also neglect the fact, that when a Muslim marries a non-Muslim, all children will considered Muslim, so Muhammed's wives would be under pressure to become Muslim as well.

Neither did the Yes-side argue against any of the verses

Source:
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/quran/

Is Islam really a religion of peace?

Yes because... No because...

Islam is not peaceful.. not right now..

[[http://web.youngmuslims.ca/online_library/books/peace_in_islam/index.htm]]

It's like saying Christianity is racist,murderous and encourages homosexuality and pedophilia because the Klu Klux Klan are bearers of the cross and a vast faction of Christian clergy (priests bishops and the like) have committed statutory rape with choir boys.

Do not judge a religion on the basis of how an iconoclastic "minority" "practices" it; unless you're really really thick.

Debates > Is Islam really a religion of peace?