Understanding Peaceful Islam: A Muslim Response to Herb Silverman

Faith Street.com: By Harris Zafar: Last week, I read with great interest Herb Silverman’s column describing six events that led him to believe that “Islam is the worst and most dangerous religion by all human rights standards.” Although I believe Islamophobia to be a real phenomenon, I do not consider Mr. Silverman to be an Islamophobe.Rather, he brings up legitimate concerns with the actions, views, or words of different Muslims, but makes a mistake to impugn Islam and the Quran for the moral or intellectual failings of such people.

I will not defend the Muslims in Mr. Silverman’s six experiences — from their anti-Jewish sentiments to others’ reactions to free speech and views on women, Shariah, and apostasy. These are precisely the subjects I deal with in my new book, Demystifying Islam: Tackling the Tough Questions, which confronts the views and actions of many Muslims and condemns those views based on Islamic grounds. There are literally millions upon millions of Muslims in this world who agree with me that the Quran champions justice, equity, liberty, peace, and compassion. Although Mr. Silverman claims the Quran causes people to become intolerant, these Muslims accept the Quran in its entirety, which guides them to exemplify peace, tolerance, pluralism, and justice.

There is indeed a problem whereby some Muslims adhere to a hard-hearted and even, at times, dangerous ideology. I would never attempt to sanitize or dilute the atrocities of other Muslims. In fact, as an Ahmadi Muslim, I have intimate knowledge of the effects of such dangerous ideology. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a peaceful sect of Islam who accepts that the long-awaited Messiah and Mahdi for whom the Muslims wait came 125 years ago. His message was simple: end religious wars, end violent Jihad, rely only on rational discourse through the pen to defend Islam and rid Muslims of the fanatical beliefs that had crept into their cultures over the centuries. Unsurprisingly, irrational Muslims have not taken kindly to such a message of reformation.

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