Last week, before the Islamic State beheaded its third Westerner, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that, “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents.”
Well, not exactly.
How often — despite the current spectacle of the Islamic State [IS, ISIL or ISIS] in Syria and Iraq — do we hear politicians and church leaders say that Islam is a religion of peace; that Islamic extremism is a modern innovation, a profound deviation from some imagined “true” Islam, and even that its very name, the word “Islam,” means peace?
It is not just Muslims who say that Islam is a religion of peace: some Western politicians and churchmen repeat it too. [...]
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