Religion of Peace: Wikis


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The Religion of peace (sometimes abbreviated as ROP or RoP) is a political neologism used as a description of Islam. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, some politicians described Islam as a "religion of peace" in an effort to differentiate between Islamic terrorists and non-violent Muslims.[1] Subsequently, some critics of Islam have adopted the phrase, using the term "Religion of Peace" in a sarcastic manner as a pejorative synonym for Islam. [2][3]


History of the term

The Arabic term Islam (إسلام) is derived from aslama, which means "to surrender" or "resign oneself".[4][5] The word salaam (سلام) ("peace") shares the same abstract consonantal root with the word Islam.[6] This has led to a widespread misinterpretation that the word Islam means peace.[7]

There are critics of Islam who have argued that the underlying cause and motivation of the September 11, 2001 attacks was the doctrines and beliefs of Islam, and that Islam is intrinsically violent.[8][9][10][11] However, many notable Muslims have maintained that terrorism against civilians is motivated by a misunderstanding of Islamic doctrine. Mahathir bin Mohamed, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia said,

Clearly Islam the religion is not the cause of terrorism. Islam, as I said, is a religion of peace. However through the centuries, deviations from the true teachings of Islam take place. And so Muslims kill despite the injunction of their religion against killing especially of innocent people.[1]

President Bush publicly adopted this latter view, stating that "Islam is peace":

"The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: "In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule." The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war." [12]

This prompted criticism from some quarters[8] and a poll of Evangelical Protestant leaders taken in 2002 revealed that only 10% agreed with President Bush that Islam was synonymous with peace.[13]

Muslims who are keen to emphasise their rejection of violence have used the term "a religion of peace” as a description of Islam, like Dalil Boubakeur, mufti of the Paris Mosque, who said, "The prophet did not found a terrorist religion, but a religion of peace."[14] After the 7/7 London bombings, some Muslims in the West increased their efforts to present Islam as a peaceful religion.[15]


The description of Islam as a "religion of peace" has created controversy:

"Only when Muslims admit that 9/11 and 7/7 were the work of Muslim terrorists can we move forward to the next juncture: which is recognising the hard truth that Islam does permit the use of violence. Muslims who deny this, preferring instead to mouth easy platitudes about how Islam is nothing but a religion of peace, make the job easier for the radicals who can point to passages in the Koran, set down in black and white, that instruct on the killing of unbelievers."[18]
  • Pope Benedict XVI refused to agree that Islam was a religion of peace. However he stated:
It certainly contains elements that can favor peace, it also has other elements: We must always seek the best elements.[21]

See also

External links

List of sites using the term "Religion of Peace" in a sarcastic manner

List of web pages discussing if Islam is a "religion of peace"


  • Religion of Peace?: Islam's War Against the World by Gregory M. Davis ( ISBN 097789844X )
  • Islam: Religion of Peace and Justice by Muhammad Nawaz ( ISBN 1410767868 )
  • Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't by Robert Spencer ( ISBN 1596985151 )


  1. ^ a b Islam, Terrorism, and Malaysia's Response Asia Society
  2. ^ e.g Craig Winn when writing about a debate with Jalal Abualrub said For, how could a "religion of peace" have such an open-ended and encompassing edict to destroy anyone who chooses not to submit to it?
  3. ^ a b Siddiqi, Imraan (2003-06-05). "Ann Coulter's Foul Mouth: The Blond Hate Machine". Counterpunch. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  4. ^ L. Gardet; J. Jomier. "Islam". Encyclopaedia of Islam Online.  
  5. ^ "Lane's lexicon".  
  6. ^ "Islam". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  7. ^ Simkins, Ronald A. (2007). "The Contexts of Religion and Violence". Journal of Religion and Society Supplement Series 2. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  8. ^ a b Till, Farrell (2001-11). "The Real Culprit". The Skeptical Review. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  9. ^ "Suicide bombing, in the Muslim world at least, is an explicitly religious phenomenon that is inextricable from notions of martyrdom and jihad, predictable on their basis, and sanctified by their logic. It is no more secular an activity than prayer is."Harris, Sam (2004). The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.. p. 251. ISBN 0-393-03515-8.  
  10. ^ Sperry, Paul (2005-12-14). "The Pentagon Breaks the Islam Taboo". FrontPageMagazine.  
  11. ^ "Suicide bombers follow Quran, concludes Pentagon briefing". World Net Daily News ( September 27, 2006.  
  12. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (2001-09-17). ""Islam is Peace" Says President". Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  13. ^ Green, John (2003-04-07). "Evangelical Views of Islam". EPPC and beliefnet. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  14. ^ "Prophet cartoons enraging Muslims". International Herald Tribune. 2006-02-02. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  15. ^ Nickel, Gordon (2006-06-13). "Islam: A religion of peace?". National Post. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  16. ^ Jackson, Sherman (Spring / Summer 2002). "Jihad and the Modern World". Journal of Islamic Law and Culture. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  17. ^ "The defeatists should fear Allaah lest they distort this religion and cause it to become weak on the basis of the claim that it is a religion of peace. Yes, it is the religion of peace but in the sense of saving all of mankind from worshipping anything other than Allaah and submitting all of mankind to the rule of Allaah" Qutb, Sayyid. Fiqh al-Da’wah. IslamQA. pp. 217–222. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  18. ^ Butt, Hassan (2007-07-14). "Muslim heads stuck firmly in the sand". The Times. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  19. ^ Mitchell, W. J. T. (Winter 2007). "Picturing Terror: Derrida's Autoimmunity" ( – Scholar search). Critical Inquiry (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press) 33 (2): 277–290. doi:10.1086/511494. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  20. ^ "Homeland Security: So Far, So Good". Investor's Business Daily. 2007-05-11. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  
  21. ^ "Pope won't call Islam religion of peace". Word Net Daily. 2005-07-26. Retrieved 2007-11-22.  

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