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How can a peaceful religion countenance violence?

by
13 May 2009

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From Mr Clive Harper

Sir, — Reading the account by Baroness Cox and Revd David Thomas of the disturbing situation in Nigeria (Comment, 1 May), I find myself incredulous and resigned: incredulous that a religion such as Islam, which prides itself on peace, should perpetrate such atrocities, and resignation because that is the impression we in the West are given of the nature of Islam.

Wherever we look around the world, we hear accounts of how Christian communities are being persecuted by other religions, particularly Islam. In many cases, there is violence, deception, and even murder. While the West has opened its door to other faiths, it seems to be the aim of countries where Islam is the dominant creed to drive out all those who will not follow its beliefs.

Is there a Muslim reader of this newspaper who is prepared to give a reason for, and is able to justify this method of what I suppose is evangelisation done, apparently, in the name of Allah? Is this what we are to expect in the coming years of the 21st century, and is this what his servants are about?

Surely people have a right to follow their own God, whoever they conceive him to be, without this hate and oppression; evangelisation, yes, by argument and persuasion, but not through violence and bloodshed; it is heaven we are about, not world domination; or have I missed something?

CLIVE HARPER
Kairos, 18 Whimbrel Close
Rugby CV23 0WG

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