Ed is someone I have known for years. In recent years, sadly, I have seen him develop strong Islamophobic feelings. Just after the recent attack in London he sent me an email full of Islamophobic rhetoric. This is my reply to him.
Thank you for your email in which you shared your concerns about Muslims and Islam. Indeed there are some Muslims who have violent and extremist tendencies. Research shows us that 0,0016 % of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today come into this category. Should you be worried about these people? That's up to you. The world has always been a place where violence has thrived. If you worry about people being violent, perhaps you might want to bear the following in mind.
In the previous century it took atheist communists about 70 years to kill around 95 million people -probably a 'world record'. In the century before that, King Leopold II of Belgium, while converting the Congo to Christianity, became responsible for the death of an estimated 10 million Africans because of abuse, murder and starvation. Colonial Europeans have been responsible for the death, oppression, abuse and exploitation of millions of people, many of them Muslims, for centuries. Closer to home, the Holocaust resulted in the death of 6 million Jews, another European project, as were the two greatest wars the world has ever seen, WOI and WOII.
More recent, in 1994, 8000 Muslim men and boys were massacred by Christian Bosnian-Serbs in Srebrenica. The Lord's Resistance Army has been roaming around Uganda and other parts of Africa since 2007, killing thousands and having kept an estimated 6000 young girls as sex-slaves. Add to this hundreds of thousands of abused children all over the world by Roman-Catholic priests, the white supremacist attacks by the likes of
Timothy McVeigh, Anders Breivik and Dylann Roof, plus the many high-school and shopping-mall shootings by trigger-happy teenagers in countries like the US, Germany and The Netherlands and you can see why this world is such a dangerous place.
I am sure that you know that the greatest murderers in the history of the human race were Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. None of these men were Muslims, neither were Muslims involved in the atrocities I've mentioned above. Of course I can understand your concerns about attacks by Muslim extremists, but please don't judge 1.6 billion Muslims, the vast majority of whom are peace-loving people, for the deeds of a very small amount of misguided nutters.
I hope my reply to your email will help you gain a better perspective and a more balanced view of violence in this world and helps you see that violence is certainly not the domain of Muslims alone.