The Top Five Lies About Islam You Probably Learned in Church

Amidst the blur of violent, tragic events in Afghanistan, The Stream decided to ask for some perspective from an expert on the Islamic faith and its links to political conflict and violence, author William Kilpatrick.

John Zmirak: You’re an expert on Islam. You have a new book which I’ve been enjoying, What Catholics Need to Know About Islam. Surely all the information in it is of equal interest to every Christian. What drove you to write such a book? Do well-meaning Christians have false ideas about the nature of Islam? What would you say are the top five myths that are widely promoted by church leaders and the media?

William Kilpatrick: I wrote the book in order to present a fuller picture of Islam than is generally available to Catholics and other Christians.

In the Catholic Church, for instance, clergy and educators have for decades promoted a highly misleading view of Islam. One might add that it’s a dangerously misleading view because it leaves Christians unprepared for the dangerous realities of Islam. In short, Catholic leaders are guilty of covering-up Islam’s extremism.

The top five myths that Church leaders promote are as follows:

  1. Islam is a religion of peace; Islam has nothing to do with violence.
  2. Islam has much in common with Christianity, including a similar moral code, and similar ideas about marriage, family, and sexuality.
  3. The vast majority of Muslims are moderate.
  4. Jihadists misunderstand Islam. They have perverted a great religion. Luckily, they are only a tiny minority.
  5. Many Christians also misunderstand Islam. They suffer from “Islamophobia” — an irrational fear of Islam that can be overcome through dialogue.