Russell Brand vs Islam Being an Inherently Violent Religion

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Ben Cohen
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Daily Banter reader (and friend) Anthony Evans left the following comment in response to Russell Brand's assertion that the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in London last week had nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with mental illness:

500 direct commandments to murder non-believers in the "holy" book...and this killing had nothing to do with Islam? Really? I wonder which country currently ruled by Islamic law Mr Brand wishes to move to? Or - let me guess - those regimes have "nothing to do" with Islam either?

Let me give an example of a truly peaceful religion: Jaina dharma. Google it. As nutty as every religion, it nevertheless is undoubtedly a doctrine of peace. Islam is a doctrine of hate and murder. Anyone who tries to suggest otherwise either hasn't read the Quar'an or the hadith or is being intellectually dishonest. Islam is one of the most poisonous inventions man ever came up with...come on, 500 direct commandments to murder people for the cardinal sin of not being a believer.

There is no room for misinterpretation, Muslims are commanded to murder non-Muslims. Wanna know what really has "nothing to do with Islam'? Ordinary, everyday "Muslims" who live in the West, send their kids to school, go to work, and practice their own
version of Islam. The ones who take the "good" bits of the Quar'an (and there are some) and ignore the evil, scummy parts. But those people are NOT Muslims. Islam commands (and, yes, it does a lot of that) its faithful accept the entire text as law, there's no picking and chose.

Until we can be brave enough to recognize the perfectly plain and obvious about the true meaning and objective of Islam, this sort of let's pretend will continue to dominate public discussion. One last thought: if someone were to write a vile book in 2013 directing readers to murder non-readers over 500 times, that book would most likely be banned and the author arrested for hate-crimes... so why is a book written by some warlord in the 7th century treated with such pathetic reverence by liberals right now?

I'm with Brand on this one, but Ant does raise some interesting points. I'd be interested to hear readers thoughts on this - what do you think? Is Islam inherently violent? Or is the Koran just like any other book and open to interpretation?