This morning, I watched large portions of Malala Yousafzai’s UN speech, and it confused me a little.
She is a very brave young woman, and I don’t want to put her down in any way, but her comments with regard to the compassion she learned “from the prophet Mohammed” (among others, at minute 7:30) raised my eyebrows. What’s this? Islam is not a compassionate religion.
Then, at around minute 10:30, she says, “The terrorists are misusing the name of Islam…for their own personal benefits.” Then, later on, “And Islam is a religion of peace, humanity, and brotherhood.”
I don’t believe this is true. I believe that the Muslim extremists and terrorists are NOT the odd ones out. They’re the ones following their own Quran’s mandates to kill the rest of us.
But Malala’s speech is being widely well-received, because it’s just what everyone wants to believe. Everyone wants to believe that other people want peace just as badly as they do, and they want to trust other people. Around the world, people are listening to Malala and thinking, “I knew it! Islam IS a religion of peace! They’re so misunderstood!”
But that, I firmly believe, is merely lulling us into a false sense of security. Perhaps some Muslims are peaceful, compassionate people. Perhaps Malala is one of those. But the religion itself, as cited above, is most definitely not.