CNN asks this question and then answers it. Note the brilliance of Robert Spencer’s reply. As long as mainstream media utilize this type of faulty analysis there is little chance Americans will clarify their ideas.
1. Does Islam encourage violence?
Many Muslims bristle at mere hint of this idea, noting that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, most of whom live peaceful and productive lives.
And here is Robert Spencer:
Here is another example of the perennial confusion: Burke asks the question, “Does Islam encourage violence?,” and then starts talking about Muslims. The fact that some Muslims live peaceful and productive lives does absolutely nothing to answer the question of whether Islam encourages violence. The only way to answer that is to examine the texts and teachings of Islam. Burke is arguing that most Muslims aren’t violent, therefore Islam doesn’t encourage violence. But human beings have all kinds of motives and influences. The Catholic Church, for example, forbids contraception. Yet surveys show that most Catholics contracept. Would Burke then argue that because most Catholics contracept, therefore the Catholic Church encourages contraception?