This article is part 5 of LoonWatch’s Understanding Jihad Series. Please read my “disclaimer”, which explains my intentions behind writing this article: The Understanding Jihad Series: Is Islam More Likely Than Other Religions to Encourage Violence?
Anti-Muslim demagoguery relies on the demonization of the Prophet Muhammad, who is characterized as being especially violent and warlike. This idea has certainly gained currency in the “Judeo-Christian West”. When it is pointed out that the Biblical prophets–including Moses, Joshua, Samson, Saul, David, among many others–were far more violent and warlike (and even engaged in religiously sanctioned genocide), anti-Muslim pro-Christian ideologues will respond by disregarding or downplaying the Old Testament and will instead focus on the personality of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Didn’t Jesus preach nonviolence and “loving one’s enemies”? The anti-Muslim ideologues use this idea to assault the religion of Islam with. For example, the Catholic apologist Robert Spencer compares Islam to Christianity by juxtaposing carefully selected quotes from Jesus to Islamic texts. In his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), Spencer includes a “Muhammad vs Jesus” section. He cites the following sayings of Jesus in the Bible:
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
“If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”
“Blessed are the peacemakers”
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy”
“But love your enemies, and do good”