Is radicalism in the Muslim world a tiny minority phenomenon? Many of our leaders seem to think so, and they often stress the point in order to dispel any ideas that Islam is in any way incompatible with the West. Take for example just a small sampling of comments made by Western leaders, often immediately following an Islamic terrorist attack.
Islam is an ancient religion of great scholarship. I mean for heaven’s sake, must of our learning and culture came to us from the Muslims… The idea that Islam is antithetical to learning or culture or scholarship is absurd. Now, you know, it’s a great tradition. It’s important for us that we promote and encourage Islam and Islamic traditions which are moderate, which support freedom, which support democracy, and which support Australian values… The idea that you demonize the faith of billions of people with fifteen hundred years, or there abouts, of history and tradition and scholarship is absurd.1
We know that the twisted ideology of ISIL bears no relation to a faith of peace, love and tolerance which is followed by millions around the world – and we continue to make this point. ISIL has no right to use the name of Islam.2
We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.
The United State is not, and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace.
We have faced a more lethal and ideological brand of terrorists who have perverted one of the world’s great religions.
Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.
Throughout history Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.
When it comes to America and Islam, there is not us and them. There is only us.
ISIL (Islamic State) is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocence.
The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.
Since before I was President, I’ve been clear about how extremist groups have perverted Islam to justify terrorism. As President I have repeatedly called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of on one of the world’s great religions.3
Let’s be clear though, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.
Islam, like other religions, respects the fundamental dignity of human beings and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocence.4
It is wrong to describe this as Islamic terrorism. It is Islamist terrorism, but it is a perversion of a great faith.5
It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Israel. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.6
On the issue of radical Islamism, British Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding who have themselves been victims of acts of terror by the far right. There are those who conduct acts of terror in the name of Islam, but it is not in the name of Islam.7
To our friends and fellow citizens in the Muslims community, Canadians know acts such as these committed in the name of Islam are an aberration of your faith.8
Obviously, the biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone. Crimes that the overwhelming majority of Muslims oppose. Crimes that their faith utterly rejects.
Let me be really clear… The real face of Islam is not what we saw yesterday, when the world bore witness again to the unfathomable brutality of ISIL (Islamic State) terrorist murderers…9
I also want to speak to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It’s practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. It’s teachings are good and peaceful and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying in effect to hijack Islam itself.10
…it is not Islam that is the source of terrorism. But a falsely understood Islam.11
At the root of the crisis lies a radicalized and politicized view of Islam. An ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message…12
…the Quran, which incidentally if you read, demonstrates Islam is a peaceful and harmonious religion. How can you possibly think it does anybody any good to engage in a sort of symbolic destruction of it…13
In the following clip, Ben Shapiro examines the myth that only a tiny portion of Muslims worldwide are radical. Looking beyond those who are active “terrorists,” Shapiro explains, “radical beliefs are a lot broader than terrorists, and anybody who argues otherwise is being naive or foolish or disingenuous. But terrorists draw their moral, financial and religious support from those who are not terrorists themselves. So, who are the radicals?” These figures will no doubt shock you.
Also see: Moderate Islam: Not what you think