I would guess that the moderate Islam theologians, if they really call themselves that, tire of saying that these almost weekly killings don’t represent them. It just doesn’t seem to have much conviction behind those words anymore. I know this guy who killed and injured more than 100 in the latest event probably is more a Muslim in words than in acts but he is the face of that religion for most of us.
The words below come from a Muslim scholar at the Brookings Institute who tries to point out that Islam is just the way it is and you can’t do much about it. I take exception with his words:
I am a bit uncomfortable making this claim, especially now, with anti-Muslim bigotry on the rise. But Islamic exceptionalism is neither good nor bad. It just is, and we need to understand and respect that.
Two factors are worth emphasizing: First, the founding moment of Islam looms large. Unlike Jesus Christ, the Prophet Muhammad was a theologian, a preacher, a warrior and a politician, all at once. He was also the leader and builder of a new state, capturing, holding and governing new territory. Religious and political functions, at least for the believer, were no accident. They were meant to be intertwined in the leadership of one man.
Second, for Muslims the Quran is God’s direct and literal speech, more than merely the word of God. It is difficult to overstate the centrality of divine authorship. This does not mean Muslims are literalists; most are not. But it does mean the text cannot easily be dismissed as irrelevant.
Islamic exceptionalism is mainly in the eyes of the beholder it seems. I googled the term and couldn’t find any references but I think he means that to the followers it is the only true religion. Of course there are many in the Christian world who make the same claims. They say that every word in their bible comes directly from God. Many in the ‘flat bible’ arena take that to believe that they can base their faith in any of the words contained in it as each word is as important as the next. Some make snake handling as a serious part of their worship, some take the belief that God intends all of his believers to be millionaires. They can pick and choose any words as all are equally important. Isn’t that what all the suicide martyrs are doing?
The arguments in the quote above are the main reasons why we have so much religious related violence in the world. Every believer thinks they are exceptional. No, it is not” just the way it is”.