It is at times like this after the murder of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by ISIS, in the wake of the killing of his friend Haruna Yukawa and the Paris attacks, that even the most liberal of us are inclined to see Islam as a specially violent and brutal religion.
This would be a mistake. To single out Islam would be to divert us from a more basic and urgent truth: all religion is poisonous. No distinction should be drawn between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, animism, Wicca, whatever.
We habitually make a distinction between mild, innocuous religion — the church-going lady in a hat — and the extremist, the masked RPG-wielding nutter or the Koran-burning pastor in Hicksville, USA.
This distinction is false.
The mild and personal religion and the violent oppressive version exist on the same continuum and they are bound together by faith.
Faith is the willing…
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