Reza Aslan: Islam doesn’t cause terrorism

The tragic murder of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — “a recent convert to Islam” as every media outlet in the United States would like to remind you — has added fuel to the already fiery debate in this country over the inherently violent nature of religion in general, and Islam in particular.

It seems that, in the minds of many, the only possible reason a Muslim convert would go on a shooting spree in the Canadian Parliament is because his religious beliefs commanded him to do so.

Of course, it could very well be the case that Zehaf-Bibeau was motivated by his Islamic beliefs. It could be that he read a particular passage in the Quran, understood it to mean he should kill as many Canadian government officials as possible, and then went out and did just that.

After all, there’s no question that a person’s religious beliefs can and often do influence his or her behavior. The mistake lies in assuming there is a necessary and distinct causal connection between belief and behavior — that Bibeau’s actions were exclusively the result of his religious beliefs…

Aslan is an idiot. No, Bibeau’s actions were not exclusively the result of his religious beliefs, but if he had never been exposed to radical Islam he certainly would not have done what he did. He appeared to be carrying out the instructions in the latest Dabiq to the letter.

Without Islam he might very well have been violent in some other way — that is entirely possible. But Aslan’s argument is ridiculous. No wonder he has no credibility, except amongst the most gullible.

He is not doing his religion any favours by trying to explain it away — it is not going to stop. Islamic State is nicely entrenched in Syria and Iraq — carefully working toward the End of Time. The Iraqi armed forces appear completely unable to dislodge them them.