Does the Qur'an promote violence towards others, or does it promote peace?
I hear a lot of people saying that it promotes peace, but this seems like wishful thinking to me (both by believers and multiculturalists). Similarly, most people who proclaim it promotes violence have an anti-Islamic (i.e., bigoted) agenda as well.
Please understand I am not asking for any of your personal interpretations of the Qur'an. I am only asking about:
- The plain meaning of the text (insofar as such a thing is possible with a religious book)
- Traditional and modern interpretations
Basically, what I'm trying to figure out is if Islamists who
- murder other Muslims of the same sect who oppose them (link)
- who murder other "people of the book" (link)
- or who murder "pagans" (link)
- perverting their religion (i.e., using it as a veneer for bigotry)
- or are in fact the few people who take it seriously, while everyone else is just tiptoeing around the offensive parts.
I realize religion is a touchy subject, and any time it comes up, it's hard to make absolute statements. But I would like to get as close to the true meaning of the text as possible.