Is Islam peaceful or militant?
Politicians assure us that Islam is peaceful, while media images lead us to see the religion as inherently militant. Which is true? Both of these extremes fail to grasp the diversity within Islam. Some verses in the Qur’an are peaceful; others are militant. No one sums up the issue better than Dudley Woodberry, Professor Emeritus in Islamics at Fuller Theological Seminary: Either position can be argued by selecting specific verses or illustrations from history. The peaceful interpretation held by a majority of Muslims is based on qur’anic verses like 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion” and 5:82: “The nearest in affection to the believers are those who say, ‘We are Christians.’” The social regulations devised by early Muslim leaders for non-Muslim minorities within Muslim lands, which applied particularly to Jews and Christians, gave religious minorities the right to practice their faith as long as they were loyal citizens and performed their obligations to Muslim rulers. In the