In the wake of the deadly Paris attacks on Friday claimed by the Islamic State (IS) there are some who are questioning the peaceful teachings of Islam and wondering whether the religion is to blame for the acts of those involved in the massacre.
The Muslim community all over the world condemned the attacks in Paris in the strongest terms but a debate has been raging on many media outlets whether Islamic State’s horrific ideology has real roots in the Islamic text and history or are Islamic teachings distorted to suit the group’s nefarious cause.
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Amidst all the discussions and the blame game which will undoubtedly spill over many days to come, an old footage of historian Reza Aslan speaking about Islam has gone viral.
In the footage, historian Reza Aslan gave the perfect response to hostile questions on CNN suggesting that Muslims are inherently violent.
“Islam does not promote violence or peace. Islam is just a religion and like every religion in the world it depends on what you bring to it. If you're a violent person, your Islam, your Judaism, your Christianity, your Hinduism is going to be violent,” Aslan said.
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“There are marauding Buddhist monks in Myanmar slaughtering women and children. Does Buddhism promote violence? Of course not! People are violent or peaceful and that depends on their politics, their social world, the ways that they see their communities,” he continued.
So in Aslan’s point of view, violence depends on an individual's upbringing and social environment.
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However, many scholars do not agree with Aslan and insist that Islam plays a huge role in Islamic State’s ideology and actions. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution believes that Islamic ideas of the religion as also being a state, which don't quite exist in Christianity, are crucial for understanding IS and its obsession with a caliphate.
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