I was reading this book called “Battle of God” by Karen Armstrong. It’s a very interesting book. And I was curious about the Author and I start to search more about her, Karen Armstrong, she called herself the “runaway nun,” the rebellious ex-Catholic. Very interesting life story. And as I was doing a search on her, I come accross this interview article. She’s not a Muslim (at least she never claim to be in any religion now) but her interview really speak a lot about the real Islam. i quote and paste the article:
A best-selling religion writer Karen Armstrong explains why the West needs Muslims to maintain a strong and vital faith
With 1.2 billion followers, Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion—but also its most misunderstood.
About Jihad & Terrorist:
Islam does not preach violence, it does not preach vicious holy war, it certainly does not condone terror, suicide bombing or anything of that sort. Like all of the great world religions, it preaches compassion and justice, and that is why it has been a success. Jihad is not a holy war as the western media portiad it, Jihad is the struggle or effort that is pursued on all fronts—intellectual, spiritual, social, moral as well as political. The Qu’ran and Islamic law forbid suicide in the strongest terms. You may not wage a war against a country where Muslims are allowed to practice their religion freely. You may not kill children or women in any war. But what annoys me somewhat [is that] none of these questions were asked in 1995 after 8,000 Muslims were killed by Christian Serbs. We knew enough about Christianity that [we knew] to say that Christianity condoned the massacre was illegitimate. The trouble is that most Western people just don’t know enough about Islam to make that correct judgment. What those terrorists did shocked Muslims to the core and there is nothing in the Qu’ran that could justify this any more than you can say that Jesus would have wanted anybody to go and kill doctors and nurses who have worked in abortion clinics.
None of the great world religions have been good for women. And I’d include Christianity in that. These are male-dominated religions. The prophet Mohammed was very keen on the emancipation of women—and there is nothing in the Qu’ran to insist that all women must be veiled or secluded. The Muslim women in the first community often fought beside men in battle and in the early Muslim community, the prophet’s wives had immense political power.
Islamic history suggests a legacy of religious tolerance and Jerusalem experienced five centuries of relative peace under Muslim rule from 638 to 1099. The Qu’ran as well as the Jewish scriptures speaks of honoring the stranger in your land and treating him as one of your own people. The Muslims had a system of coexistence in Jerusalem that would be unthinkable today. It was the Muslims who brought the Jews back to Jerusalem. They had never been allowed to take up permanent residence in Jerusalem under the Christians. Similarly, the importance of human rights, and the respect of all peoples is firmly in the Qu’ran, but it is politics that manipulate religion.