Is Islam a Religion of Peace? Yes or No?

After the attacks on Barcelona in which 13 people were killed and many others seriously injured, the debate about what some people call “Islamic extremism” has been sparked again, with many people taking to social media, forums and other discussion channels to discuss the role of Islam in society and whether Muslim leaders have failed in their duty to educate and preach to their followers to avoid taken the path of violence.

It is really a difficult and unfortunate situation because a handful of terrorists who commit deadly and horrific atrocities always claim and state categorically that they are committing these atrocities in the name of Islam. They say they are fighting a Jihad or Holy war. By doing this, they paint a dangerous and negative image of their faith.

During most of these attacks, specifically at a terrorist attack at London Bridge early this year, witnesses said that the terrorists had cried “Allahu Akbar!” as they chased and stabbed people.  These terrorists, in their sick and twisted minds believe they are doing the work of God or Allah by murdering innocent people and unfortunately, in the process they paint a very negative image on the very faith they say they are a part of.

It is not surprising that whenever there is a terrorist attack, what follows is always a backlash and a rise in tensions between Muslims and people of other faiths who fail to understand that a handful of brainwashed terrorists do not represent Islam.

After the attacks in Barcelona, the backlash was swift. Barcelona is a city that has been relatively safe and untouched by terrorism so what happened stunned the locals and the day after there were anti-Muslim demonstrations in different parts of the city.

In London this year, after two terror attacks targeting two iconic bridges- Westminster Bridge and London Bridge all in a space of a few weeks, there was a rise in hate crimes against Muslims.

There were speeches from far right groups personalities with influence playing the blame game and portraying Islam to be a faith of violence. Katie Hopkins who is a favourite in the Daily Mail circles played on the fears of her fans, claiming that Islam was a religion of violence and people should be wary.  Nigel Farage, the UKIP firebrand blamed Islam and immigrants who bring their religious beliefs to Britain.

Some right wing newspapers too didn’t help matters. And some Muslim preachers too definitely didn’t help matters as they haven’t taken a public stance to speak out seriously on the brainwashing that’s happening amongst a few Muslim youths.

There were even reports that some years ago, some London mosques had been infiltrated by radical preachers who preached hatred and brainwashed young Muslim men.

The internet, on Youtube and Twitter, it is very easy to see hate preachers streaming their teachings and trying to recruit followers.

With every terrorist attack carried out by radicalised Muslims, people start debating about the role religion plays in these radicals’ actions and if Islam is as peaceful as it’s meant to be or if it’s possible for Muslim leaders to stop these radicalised terrorists.

So the floor is now yours to discuss this . Is Islam a religion of Peace? Yes or No?