"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit." Matthew 12:33 (HCSB)
I keep coming back to the notion of Islam as a "religion of peace”. The problem with this claim is that the term ‘peace’ also implies some other related concepts and qualities that exist along with peace. It could even be said that these qualities are the ‘fruits’ of a ‘peaceful tree’.
Restoration, harmony, co-existence, freedom (or lack of oppression); the list could go on and on. Where do we see these qualities of life being lived out in the so-called ‘peaceful tree’ that is the Islamic world?
Which Islamic nations are striving towards restoration? Is there even an ‘ideal’ that Muslims would seek to be restored to? Or is the goal simply to have a world in which everyone serves the Muslim conception of Allah, following the precepts set forth by the prophet Mohammed? But what is the ultimate end? What is the purpose of it all?
Where are the influences of harmony and co-existence seen at work in the Islamic world? In the Israeli / Palestinian conflict? In the war of jihad against any and all things non- and anti-Islamic? Where are Muslims seeking to bridge gaps and co-exist with non-Muslims?
In which Islamic nation are men and women living freely in pursuit of whatever they freely choose to pursue? Which Islamic government promotes equality and fights against the forces of oppression that unjustifiably restrict the freedoms and choices of some and/or all of its citizens?
These are just a few questions that I do not have answers to. It would seem to me, however, that if Islam were truly a “Religion of Peace,” then any government or nation based on Islamic principles should exhibit some, if not all of these characteristics and qualities that are fruits of a ‘peaceful tree’.
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