Huff Post: by Harun Yahya –
The essence of Islam is love, compassion and friendship. Muslims are obliged to defend and protect the freedom of thought and faith with the command in the Koran, “You have your religion and I have my religion” (109:6) and “…There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned” (2:256). This approach is the best description of secularism and ensures that members of every faith — and even atheists — are protected.
We are at a time when offensiveness, violence and hate have become ordinary in almost every corner of the world. There is news of more bloodshed from a different region almost every day, and the violence targets mostly innocent people.
The terrorist attacks which have taken place in Kenya and Pakistan over the last weeks have once again brought Islam and the subject of violence to the world agenda. Even though Islam is a religion of love and peace — and quite clearly states that everyone must be treated as first-class citizens regardless of faith, race, language and thought — how come there is so much violence and pain in the Muslim world?
No religion commands violence. No religion encourages ruthlessness, selfishness, lovelessness and massacre. Violence and the conditions that pave the way for violence develops when ideologies that promote conflict replace the moral values of religion that sees people as equal servants created by God and praises modesty, patience, compassion and unrequited love.