Michigan State Prof Claims Islam Is Not the Root of Islamic Terrorism

Sunday, October 20, 2019
By Paul Martin

BY ANDREW HARROD
JIHADWATCH.ORG
OCT 20, 2019

“If you want to identify people who are okay with suicide bombing, I can give you a list,” including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Michigan State University Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Muslim Studies Mohammad Hassan Khalil told me at a September Georgetown University lecture. Khalil theorized before an audience of some thirty people at the Saudi-founded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU) that Islam’s atheistic critics exaggerate the religion’s role in inciting violence.While ACMCU Professor Jonathan Brown moderated, Khalil’s responses ironically reinforced the critique of Islam he sought to refute. For the record, Qaradawi’s primetime show on Qatar’s Al Jazeera network drew an estimated 60 million viewers. Even had he been the lone cleric promoting suicide bombing — which he was not — the size of his viewership reveals the scope of the problem.

At the Georgetown event, Khalil presented his previously recorded discussion of his new book, Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism, in which he disputes claims of many “New Atheists,” particularly Sam Harris, “that Muslim terrorism can be best explained by Islamic scriptures.” Harris further labels benign interpretations of Islam as “interpretive acrobatics.”

Khalil explained his focus on the so-called New Atheists, in which “[m]any of [his] own colleagues and students have been and continue to be more profoundly impacted by the writings of New Atheists than, say, polemical works by far-right religiously-affiliated critics of Islam.” Correspondingly, he cited Harris’s statement to fellow atheist Bill Maher that “we have to be able to criticize bad ideas, and Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas.”

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