I want to consider a few of the uncountably many thoughts/common conceptions one might list here:
more than 18,000 terror attacks in the last decade were claimed on behalf of Islam. There have been more than 30 thousand attacks since 9/11.
Muslims refer to non-muslims with a pejorative term, Kafir, and subject non-muslims to a religion tax. No other mainstream religion employs a similar practice.
Is it not true that part of mandatory prayers is asking for your god to make non-Muslims suffer?
Muslims have created the most apartheid place on earth - Mecca. It openly bans non-Muslims. What if we operationalized such logic across religions and locations? The world would devolve.
Islam includes a directive to kill any former believer who tries to separate himself or herself from Islam.
Islam is the only religion that systemically forms the basis of theocratic governments. And most of these theocracies are backward along the dimensions of human rights, cruelty to others, etc.
In keeping with the above point, Shari'a law is backward relative to developed systems of law. For example, it allows for child marriage. In fact, UNICEF in 2011 publicly states its position as, roughly, that Shari'a law provisions are discriminatory against women from a human rights perspective. In legal proceedings under Shari'a law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s before a court.
Jihad. Just. Wow. It is the directive of Islam that believers, whether using covert or overt methods, spread Islam until it covers the world. Islam and its proponents destroy cultures, museums, art, history whenever it is considered jahiliyya.
Though this is perhaps more cultural and less a function of Islam, it seems that Islam is the common denominator here and so I must at least consider it: it seems like immigrants from Muslim countries to the developed world refuse to assimilate, force their religion upon others, demand that others make accommodations on behalf of Islam that are not made for any other religion or practice, perpetuate violence, degrade women etc. I understand that this is not ubiquitous. I am saying that evidence indicates that believers of Islam, proportionally, do these things more relative to immigrants of other religions. And I am curious if, for example, Muslims have a superiority complex that drives such actions.
I am not appealing to the ancient history of Islam for the basis of my question. This is unfair because other religions have perpetrated mass violence in the past. Christians murdered people in witch hunts and launched the crusades (though one may question the nexus of these wars and perhaps split blame). Catholics ruined South America and destroyed entire cultures. I am not defending or promoting any other religion.
What I am doing is trying to understand whether or not I am subject to some misperception. It seems to me that Islam is dangerous for anyone who chooses not to believe in Islam, for people who are not men, and even for Muslims who eventually become unsure in faith.
I am interested in genuine answers from people who practice this faith. This is not an attack. This is not an invitation to engage in vitriol. This is curiosity.
I was unsure of what tag to use and so I picked a tag at random. My apologies.
some sources I used to try and understand Islam and that shaped the above list:
- I have also spent much time study debates between prominent anti-theists, like Chris Hitchens or Sam Harris, and Islamic scholars.
I enjoy discourse between these two: http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2015/10/muslim-atheist-debate
It is also through Sam Harris that I learned of Reza Aslan.
I know this is a bit informal. I changed my wording to be more fair (in response to comment below) since I haven't the time to formally site everything within.