This article is in response to the ongoing conversations around mob killing of a Christian girl in Northern Nigeria but Muslim extremists who unfortunately, make up the bulk of the population of Northern Nigeria.

Just like every other tool including the Bible, the Quran assumes the state of the heart and motives of anyone studying or using it. Anyone with a bad heart will weaponize the Quran the same way some unschooled, dubious and fake believers weaponize the words of Jesus that says “suffer not the witches to live”.

Nonetheless, there are truths that many Muslims always try to circumvent. People who want to sound politically correct also try escaping from this truth. Islam started with aggression on the Arabian Peninsula, we could have said the same for Judaism but the thing is, in today’s world, mindsets have evolved, we have moved on from the primitive ages to an age where we are more diplomatic and human. Unfortunately, in many instances, many Muslims haven’t moved on from their primitive mentality.

As a result of their aggression, many African nations, Asia and parts of Europe suffered and paid with their blood. This resulted in the formation of Crusader Armies between 1905 and 1270 AD. The purpose was to protect pilgrims and regain territories captured by Muslims.

Concerning Islam and violence, Wikipedia reads

“The use of politically and religiously-motivated violence dates back to the early history of Islam, finding its origins in the behaviour, sayings, and rulings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his companions, and the first caliphs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries CE. Mainstream Islamic law stipulates detailed regulations for the use of violence, including corporal and capital punishment, as well as how, when, and against whom to wage war.”

So, it is apparent that the early history of Islam began with unrest and even as this modern age has progressed, Islam still condones the use of violence, howbeit, in a regulated way. I am not sure there is any other religion in the world today that sanctions violence as a valid means of expressing one’s faith. There could be in the time past but the adherents have moved on from them.

While so many Muslims yearn for peace, stability and better leadership, it seems farfetched as most Islamic regions experience one form of aggression or another. This aggression is the inspiration behind religiously motivated terrorism.

Many people are scared of Muslims and if Islamophobia is a thing, it has a root cause. This is a result of Islamic leaders and teachers not denouncing every ungodly and inhumane interpretation of the Quran which is being exploited by political and religious leaders to cause trouble for their selfish reasons.

When one looks at Syria, it’s a clear depiction of the death of Islamic civilisation, failures of Islamic leaders and a series of evil meted out in the name of religion, yet for personal gains.

Now, it sounds like a joke to any sincere person when Islam and peace are used in one sentence. This is a very bitter pill to swallow for so many peace-loving Muslims who yearn and campaign for peace. Their violent counterparts are making this progress so difficult for them.

The only way for peace to reign in the Muslim world is for her leadership to truly act peace and not just carry the peace label. They should act, teach and enforce peace but many of them don’t. They take advantage of the ignorance of many Muslims who can’t even study their religion for themselves, they interpret Islam wrongly or mischievously for these people and use them as their puns.

It’s easy to say that Judaism or Christianity had a bloody past and I won’t try to make excuses for that even though we can have an honest conversation around it but we aren’t talking about the past, we are talking about the now. Many times, when acts of Muslim extremists are condemned, they are quick to point us to Biblical texts that could be seen as an endorsement of violence but what they fail to ask is “how do Christians interpret these places? Do they act in them literally?”

The recent killing of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu sheds light on the perception of many Muslims concerning violence. They believe any form of perceived insult against their Prophet warrants instant death! Some Muslims argue that such sentences are not to be implemented by a mob action but by a competent jurisdiction of Sharia law. However, the idea that someone can and should face death simply for speaking against a Prophet keeps taking the chances of ever getting us convinced that Islam is not a religion of peace.

I’d be lying to myself to say that I perceive Islam as a religion of peace when warfare has always been and still is in the fabric of its theological systems. From the very times of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, warfare has always been considered a legitimate expression of faith and can be used in defence of Islam with rewards going as high as 72 we’ll endow virgins for anyone who carries out such violent acts in defence of Islam.

This is why the killers of Deborah Samuel Yakubu felt a rush of the heroic vibes in them as they carried out the “works of Allah”. They freely exposed themselves knowing fully well that they may simply go scot-free. After all, they do the work of ” Allah”.

While evangelising and converting people into Christianity is what ministry is all about for Christians, killing in defence of Allah can be a form of ministry for Muslims. Yet, every day, we are made to look “politically incorrect” when we seem unconvinced that Islam is a religion of peace.

Maybe, the peace of Islam can only be achieved when all nations of the world submit to Islam. But until then, Islam is nothing close to peace and freedom. It only spikes chills in our bones whenever we thought of being surrounded by Muslims when we have a different opinion from them.

It’s heart wrenching that in some Muslim nations, especially places where a strict interpretation of Sharia is carried out, certain violent punishments still prevail like public lashing, stoning to death, amputation of hands and crucifixion. Many of this strict interpretation of Sharia continues to happen in Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

While there is no punishment spelt out for Blasphemy in the Qur’an, many Muslims use the Hadith’s death prescription. Is this peace? In Islam too, the death penalty is also encouraged for anyone who abandons the Islam faith; this is a clear indication of restriction of people’s fundamental human rights.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t Islam majority nations that are beginning to move away from this violent narrative, there are! Transforming the Islamic world into a truly peaceful, inclusive and tolerant place has become more necessary than ever.

There are kind and God-fearing Muslims who have chosen not to be used, they are peace loving, tolerant and forbearing. They live in our streets, live in all parts of the world, do business with us and even save us from troubles when they can.

As we dissect and discuss violence in Islam, let us also be very kind enough to acknowledge that there are good and peace-loving Muslims. It’s only unfortunate that the voice of the ugly ones seems louder than the voice of the “true Muslims”.

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