Islam is not a religion of peace! Nor is it a religion of hate!

Islam is a religion.

Whether the practitioners are hateful or not is up to them. They’ll be hateful if they have another religion.

Most people, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics and al the other hundreds of religions in the world don’t want to shoot people for causing offence. It wasn’t Catholicism that made the IRA blow up innocent people. We weren’t arguing over whether Catholicism was good or bad. We were focussed only on that subset – the brutal murderers who felt their cause was more important than innocent life.

So why do we lump the crazy Jihadists in with the normal moderate Muslims? Can we not judge by the person?

The people to blame for the attacks in Paris were the individuals. They were acting on their own volition. They had the choice to do nothing. Or to angrily protest outside Charlie Hebdo’s offices Or do hundreds of other things.

And the same goes for the opposite. My Muslim co-workers – the ones who chatted and joked with the rest of us, and brought in snacks at the end of Ramadan – were not decent friendly people because they were Muslims. They were just decent friendly people. Most people are. Religion has nothing to do with it.

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