I was brought up in a Muslim household and community. Islam is absolutely not what Bowen thinks it is. The Quran teaches peace, justice, fairness and friendship to those who accept and believe it, as do the Torah and the Bible. The Quran says killing others and oneself is sin; only Allah gives life and ends life, not mortal beings.
Historically, insulting and slandering other religions, especially Islam, has been a ritual for certain Christians and their followers. Rarely will you find a true Muslim disrespecting other religions, especially Judaism and Christianity, which are religions based upon holy books (Tevrat and Incil or the Torah and the Bible, respectively). In fact, there is a saying, "A Muslim is a Jew and a Christian." This is so because Muslims accept Moses (Musa) and Jesus (Isa) as prophets who preceded Mohammed, the last prophet. The only fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity is Muslims do not believe in the Holy Trinity. Muslims believe Jesus was a mortal messenger of God chosen for a special mission. Musa, Isa, Yusuf (Joseph) and Meryem (Mary) are all common Muslim names. Does anyone know a Christian or Jew named Mohammed?
I've heard many ordinary Christians, popular Christian talk-show hosts and Christian clergyman call Islam "a wicked religion" and the Prophet Mohammed "a child molester." The worst name-calling you will hear from a Muslim is probably "kaffir," meaning infidel or nonbeliever. I have never heard from a Muslim, even from the most religious ones, a derogatory or disrespectful word in reference to Jesus, Moses, the Bible and the Torah.
After all, Muslims are not responsible for starting the Crusades; enslaving Africans; exterminating Native Americans and their culture; starting World Wars I and II, and killing millions of Jews; invading countries based upon lies and fabricated evidence for their oil; dropping cluster bombs on helpless civilians; and committing the Abu Ghraib atrocities and the massacres in My Lai, Cambodia and Bosnia.
And more, all of it sweet reason and pure light unto the masses.
JTA has this piece, published: 08/08/2007, a view somehow at odds with the one above:
What are we to make of it all?