Juan Cole – No, Muslims Are Not More Violent Than People of Other Religions. Here Are the Facts to Prove It.

Contrary to what is alleged by bigots like Bill Maher, Muslims are not more violent than people of other religions. Murder rates in most of the Muslim world are very low compared to the United States.

As for political violence, people of Christian heritage in the twentieth century polished off tens of millions of people in the two world wars and colonial repression.  This massive carnage did not occur because European Christians are worse than or different from other human beings, but because they were the first to industrialize war and pursue a national model.  Sometimes it is argued that they did not act in the name of religion but of nationalism.  But, really, how naive.  Religion and nationalism are closely intertwined.  The British monarch is the head of the Church of England, and that still meant something in the first half of the twentieth century, at least.  The Swedish church is a national church.  Spain?  Was it really unconnected to Catholicism?  Did the Church and Francisco Franco’s feelings toward it play no role in the Civil War?  And what’s sauce for the goose: much Muslim violence is driven by forms of modern nationalism, too.

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