Michael Epperson‘s sensible piece on Friendly Atheist, about whether we should refer to Islam as a “religion of peace,” ends with an editorial note: “The opinions expressed here are those of the author.”
Well, for the record, they mirror mine almost exactly. This part was especially good, I thought:
We can’t afford pet names and word games. I understand that [Hillary] Clinton would play the “religion of peace” game even if she viewed Islam as horrific, but this carelessness shut downs the conversation. We need sophisticated conversations about a complicated religion. If your contribution to that conversation is limited to five letters, you’re not doing Muslims, the vast majority of whom are peaceful and tolerant, any favors.
It seems that many people think that they are doing Muslims a favor. But those good intentions foster bad thinking. Some people praise Islam for being a religion of peace and, without coming up for air, condemn critics of Islam for generalizing the faith. The irony is lost on these people.
Unfortunately, Epperson’s opinion, and mine, won’t really matter. At the highest level of government, and throughout most of academe, we’ll all be bombarded for years to come with the mantra that Islam equals peace.
Consider this: My oldest daughter, who is a very mature 13 and interested in becoming a judge or a diplomat, this year learned the following about Islam and its prophet in her blue-ribbon school: