Jihadist attacks — successful or unsuccessful — should not determine attitudes toward Islam as peaceful or violent. The essence of something exists independently of its practitioners — which is why the Crusades, etc. do not make Christianity a religion of violence. The violent nature of Islam is properly deduced from examination of its sources of inspiration, i.e., the Quran and the Sunnah. Still, one could be forgiven for hoping that multiple plots to kill hundreds of civilians might open some eyes. Evidently not.
From Islamonline.net via Just-International:
The majority of Britons and Scotts still retain a positive view of Islam as a religion of peace despite the damage done to its image by the recent terrorist plots in London and Glasgow, according to a new poll released Thursday, July 12.
“Despite the failed car bomb attacks, 60 percent of people believe that Islam is fundamentally a religion of peace,” said Paul Woolley, director of Theos think tank which conducted the poll.
The Scotts are the most positive of all regions towards Islam, the poll found.
Nearly 69 percent of Scottish respondents believe Islam is a religion of peace against only 7 percent who don’t.
“The swift condemnation of the attacks and the active stance taken by Muslim leaders against extremism has clearly helped to build confidence and national solidarity,” said Woolley.
The Theos survey, however, found that the failed attacks have harmed the image of the Islamic faith.
More than seven in ten people (71%) believe that the attacks have given Islam a bad name.
Nearly 54 percent also said that the attacks have damaged the reputation of the faith in general.
The survey found that young people are the most group likely to see Islam as a violent religion.
Nearly 28 percent of 18-24 year olds believe Islam is fundamentally a religion of war which sits uneasily with modern Western culture compared with 17 percent of the overall population and only 13 percent of those aged 65.
Less than half of all 18-24 year olds (48%) see Islam as a religion of peace, compared with 60 percent or over for every other age group, the poll found.
“The trend that will alarm the Government and community groups most is that young people, who are generally more positive about spirituality, are so much more negative about Islam than the population as a whole,” said Woolley.
The assumption here, as usual, is that people drawing the obvious conclusion about Islam is “alarming.” Furthermore, that being “positive about spirituality” is somehow incongruous with skepticism toward a militarized ideology trying to kill one’s countrymen. A giant step in the right direction would be to discard vague bromides such as “spirituality” and “religion” in favor of concrete terms that draw the necessary distinctions.