[Rabbi Baruch] Frydman-Kohl, [Rev. Dr. Peter] Holmes and Kanji each acknowledged that violence has been part of their tradition and that, at different times in history, violence has been carried out in the name of their religion.
Each stressed, however, that their faith heavily values peace and emphasizes the need to understand and befriend the other, which must be striven for above all.
Kanji further raised some points related to contemporary politics – namely, attitudes towards Muslims in the post-9/11 age in the West and the hypocrisies of the so-called “war on terror.”
She argued that in our current context, Islam is, “thought to have a special relationship with violence, one that other religious traditions aren’t necessarily burdened with.”
While Islam is in no way monolithic, she said, there exists the common misconception that “Islam emanates from a hostile, Arab Middle East.”
Most European and North American media today propagate the notion that the [the West’s] enemy is “the militant, unyielding, violent face of Arab Islam,” she added.
While there have been, and are, episodes where Muslims commit violence, Kanji said, this remains the aberration, not the norm; violence is no more intrinsic to Islam than to other religions.
The Prophet Muhammad did engage in warfare during his tenure as prophet and leader of a Muslim community, she said, but, in his adherence to Islam, war was not valorized, it was only permitted under very limited circumstances and methods of warfare were bound by ethical constraints, such as the ban on killing non-combatants.
She pointed out that a group of over 100 eminent scholars of Islam recently wrote an open letter to an ISIS leader outlining the myriad of ways that the group’s practices violate Islam’s fundamental ethical and legal traditions, including offences like targeting civilians, killing the elderly, torture and desecrating dead bodies.
“But it’s not only daesh [ISIS] who violates these laws of war; all modern warfare executes indiscriminate violence,” Kanji argued...Nice work, Ms. K. I'm sure all the little infidel interfaithers bought your spin hook, line and stinker (pun intended).
The facts, however, speak for themselves. Which is to say that Islam began in the Arabian subcontinent (and while Islam may not be "monolithic," the Koran is written and chanted in Arabic throughout the Muslim world); Islam is a supremacist, triumphalist religion and violent jihad is a core religious precept aimed at spreading the faith far and wide; Islam's founder was, first and foremost, a warrior; Islam's sacred texts counsel believers to not befriend Jews and Christians; and if Western civilization hopes to survive, it must deal with--and do its best to counter--the jihad of our time, the continuation of the holy war that's been going on, in fits and starts, ever since Islam's get-go.
Ms. Kanji, FYI and BTW, is a certified "moderate" Muslim ("moderate" enough to take part in these "interfaith" Kabuki soirees, that is).