The Christian Post published an article entitled ‘Islam Is a Dangerous Religion,’ Most American Pastors Say using data provided by Lifeway Research. See also this article by Ed Stetzer entitled Protestant Pastors and Islam.
Just for the record, I don’t think Islam is a dangerous religion. Wrong yes, dangerous no.
I believe that religion (for the most part) produces good results. Pious Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hindu’s, Sikh’s behave better on the whole than non-religious people. This is not a dig against atheists or agnostics or secular humanists, rather it is a simple observation about the power of religion to make people behave better. I think that this is popular opinion as demonstrated by parents who turn to religion as a help in raising their children. They don’t necessarily see it as important for themselves, but they need help constraining and directing their kids and religion helps them accomplish that.
Religion has also great potential for abuse, as does every human institution. “Human” being the key term. Humanity is the crucible for evil. This doesn’t disprove any particular religious claim, it too is simply an observation. Islam is no exception, as a human institution, ie humans are involved can be a motivation for bad human behavior either on a personal or corporate level, it can be dangerous.
My father is an immigrant. His family escaped the Soviet Union in the early 30’s. As they traveled from the Soviet Union into Iran (then known as Persia). As they entered the country they encountered some Kurd’s who stole what little food they had, raped one of the women in the party. Now the Kurd’s can be Muslim, but can also profess Christianity. Don’t know if these robber/rapists were Muslims or Christians – but I do know that if you talked to a devout Muslim or devout Christian, they would disavow this behavior.
Further down the road they encountered a lone horseman who passed them on the road. As they traveled further down the road they saw that he had stopped and was resting under a tree. When they approached he signaled that they should stop and come over to him. Fear gripped them; what would he do to them? As they came to the tree they saw that he had spread a rug and on the rug were raisins and bread and water. He motioned for them to eat. When they had finished – he rode off. This Iranian man was most likely a Muslim.
When they arrived at the town they were greeted by many villagers who held out bread to them and bowed. These people were most likely Muslims.
Persia/Iran is one of the most ancient civilizations in our world. Their contributions in the areas of philosophy, literature, art, mathematics, astronomy and medicine cannot be underestimated. They were not always Muslim, and even while they have been Muslim, they have not always been ruled by Islamic fundamentalists. To characterize all Iranians/Muslims based on the behavior of the fundamentalists in charge is not a sound approach. I don’t like the Ayatollah Khamenei or Khomeini and I abhor current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Not a few Iranians would agree, wholeheartedly. Many are simply products of their environment and are helpless to instigate or initiate any sort of change. They are simply living day to day, surviving, living, loving, raising families and pursuing dreams.
Please don’t misread this post as a defense of Islam. It isn’t.
Islam is not a dangerous religion, humans are dangerous.