Posted by Abdul Alim
Huffington Post: Kelly James Clark: Last week I wrote about the most persecuted religion in the world — Christianity. So dire is the persecution of Christians, Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its homeland. Christianity is most in peril, I noted, in Muslim-majority countries where either by official policy or official laxity, Christians are discriminated against, persecuted, tortured, threatened and even killed (Christians are not alone in this; atheists, Jews, Baha’is, and Muslims judged heretical are likewise persecuted.) Since this impending threat to Christianity has been largely ignored in the West I called upon the Western media to report on these atrocities and so prod Western governments to act in support of the universal human right to the free expression of religious belief. Finally, I said it was not my place to speak for Muslims but that Muslim leaders needed to make a compelling case that Islam is not inherently intolerant.
Noting the behaviors of some Muslims in Muslim-majority countries might leave the impression that most Muslims and most Muslim leaders endorse intolerance and persecution. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Most Muslims in most countries oppose violence in the name of Islam. For example, according to a 2009 Pew survey, in Pakistan, for example, 87 percent of Muslims hold that suicide bombing can never be justified (up from 35 percent in just 2004); 74 percent of Turkish Muslims and 78 percent of American Muslims concurred, and we have reason to believe that number to be higher today. Only 1 percent of American Muslims think suicide bombings are often justified, and only 7 percent think they are sometimes justified. I suspect, if suicide bombings were not so closely associated with Islam in most people’s minds, a similar number of non-Muslim Americans would think they were sometimes justified.