Islam main criticisms

3 – Not a religion of peace

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While it is clear that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, there are many debates about Islam being a peaceful religion. See below some of these debates and their conclusions.

In a debate at Intelligence Squared on the motion ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ the results were 55% AGAINST, 36% FOR, 9% UNDECIDED. See debate below:

ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE from Intelligence Squared U.S. on Vimeo.

John Donvan, correspondent for ABC News Nightline, said in another Intelligence Squared debate on the motion “Islam is dominated by radicals”:

“Islam has some one and a half billion inheritants. Muslims in America seem quite well integrated in our society. Arabs account for only 25% of all Muslims, the majority are found throughout Asia. But the radical Islamic movement in the Arab world, their doctrine of Jihad, holy war, their tactics of terror, that’s what shapes our view. Is this view distorted? Well the polling data is not reassuring.  Consider the following examples: in Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco and Egypt between 73% and 92% believe the US goal is definitely or probably to weaken and divide Islam. In the same countries only 9 to 23% believe that the war of US goal on terror is to protect itself. In those countries around 20% of those surveyed supported Al Qaeda attacks on Americans and more than 70% agreed with such Al Qaeda goals as to tear US support of Israel, pushing Western values and Western militaries out of Islam and affirming Muslim identity by standing up to America. It’s astonishing to know that only between 2 and 35% of those polls identified Al Qaeda behind the 9/11 attacks, in contrast 20 to 38% identified the US or Israel as the perpetrators on 9/11. To end on a deeply confusing note in Egypt 88% agree that groups like Al Qaeda using violence against civilians are violating the principles of Islam yet 60% believe that suicide bombers are often or sometimes justified. What are we to make of all this? From a geo-political stand point are the radicals the only ones who matter? Does their organization intensity and violence affectively intimidate more moderate voices? … are we engaged in a clash of civilizations?

… In Iran if you kill someone who is a member of the non recognized religions such as the Baha’i, there in no punishment. To kill a dog, a cat or a Bahai is the same thing…. It is no matter of the law because they do not have legal status.”

The above is an extract from a debate at Intelligence Squared on the motion “Islam is dominated by radicals” the results were 73% FOR, 23% AGAINST, 4% UNDECIDED.

See debate below:

ISLAM IS DOMINATED BY RADICALS from Intelligence Squared U.S. on Vimeo.

From a former Muslim perspective (opinions from the following sources:,

‘Islam is responsible for rampant corruption, widespread misrule, implausible tyranny, mindless terrorism, unrelenting violence and pervasive social injustice in the Muslim world.’

‘Islam is not a religion of peace at all… The core of Islam—that is, the Qur’an, Hadis and Sharia—is filled with unbounded hatred for the unbelievers, unbelievably intolerant toward them and extremely cruel and merciless to Muslims, who dare to deviate from its doctrine.

Islam is also incompatible with the modern world. Islamic precepts stand in contravention to the concept of democracy, tolerance, human rights and gender equality…’