Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

In light of the war that appears to be coming between Iran and Israel, this is an interesting–and urgent–subject for debate. Can Israel reasonably risk a nuclear Iran? Should it? And is there any way that Israeli and Iranian leaders can find their way to peace through talking? Underlying such questions is the issue of Islam’s nature, and whether an Islamic state like Iran would be deterred, if it had nuclear weapons, by mutually assured destruction (as an atheist state like the Soviet Union was). What we don’t want is, in the name of Allah, an act of suicide terrorism writ large (a people collectively prepared to martyr itself in nuclear war to achieve a religiously motivated goal–the destruction of Israel).


To my mind, the key observation in the debate above is an acknowledgment, by the pro-side of the proposition, at the 51:20 mark, that the Iranian revolution takes its inspiration from European fascism. Whether Islam is a religion of peace or not, it suggests that a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

  1. Staffan says:

    I ended up watching the whole thing. It seems to me that the debate itself answers the question: it couldn’t take place anywhere in the Muslim world, and even in America they have to have metal detectors at the entrance. When a religion so consistently stands out you have to argue for the motion with a long series of coincidences which no intellectually honest person could accept.

    Also, Ali rocks. I understand why no Muslim leaders want to debate her.

    On a different note, I found this hilarious cartoon at Jayman’s blog which made me think of you for some reason:

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      I like Ali as well, and the cartoon you link to basically sums up my past couple of years of blog posts. Thanks for that (I think).


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