The Challenge of Pluralism

I think that there are some violent people who profess the Muslim faith, but that does not mean that Islam … Continued

I think that there are some violent people who profess the Muslim faith, but that does not mean that Islam is itself a violent religion any more than Christianity is a violent religion simply because violence has been perpetrated in its name.

Tempting as it may be, it is naïve to attempt to capture any great religious tradition in a few simple categories; such an approach inevitably leads not to simple statements but to simplistic ones.

There are, and have been for centuries, traditions within Islam that are as embracing of peace as any of us could hope. What is, however, relatively new to Islam is the encounter with a highly pluralistic world.

Generally speaking, Islam, like many religions, does not have a long tradition of existing without the benefit of being the established religion of an area. The notion of a pluralistic society in which religions are expected to co-exist peacefully is a comparatively new and challenging concept.

Rather than accusing Islam of being a religion of violence, we should work with those many partners within Islam that embrace peace in the search for a better and more peaceful world in which all people live safely in just and equitable societies.

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  • Pamela

    Actually, I think Islam has more practice being in a minority situation than many religions — for instance, Islam has flourished peacefully as a minority community in China, Thailand, even India and Spain where the Muslims were the rulers of the land for centuries but remained minorities religiously.I would suggest that the new dynamic which Muslims have not reacted well to is the experience of being colonized.

  • Ba’al

    The essay says “The notion of a pluralistic society in which religions are expected to co-exist peacefully is a comparatively new and challenging concept.”And we are going to see just how challenging it is on the comment threads to most of these essays.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Curious C

  • Curious Cat

    An unrelated question, just out of curiosity, to anyone who can answer it (especially muslims, since I think you MAY be able to answer it):Why are non-muslims not permitted to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina?

  • Here truth if you can

    THE JEWISH RELIGION,THE TALMUD,THEIR USE OF SUBTERFUGE AND LIES IS THE MOST DEADLY TO ALL HUMANS!THEY ARE THE RULERS BEHIND THE RULERS!THESE EVIL KHAZARS HAVE STARTED 99% OF ALL WARS SINCE 1000AD!!!WWI WAS FOUGHT AS TO DESTROY THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AND BRING IN ISRAEL! (BELFOUR DECLERATION OF 1917).WWII was instigated by the supremem zionist (so-called Jews), and the lesser (real jews), where thrown to the fire! SO THEY COULD ALSO PROPOGATE THE STATE OF ISRAEl!only 250,000 JEWS AT MOST WERE KILLED IN WWII, but the LIES KEEP STACKING, they keep teaching children in schools that 6 million died and its a complete and total LIE!!!ITS ALL A SUPER WEB OF LIES TOLD BY THE TALMUDIC JEWISH ZIONIST CAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT ANYONE NOT JEWISH IS INFERIOR TO THEM AND THATS THE 100% GOLDEN TRUTH!

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