Far too often do people forget that a religion does not control a person. We are products of our society as well as our genetic makeup. Simply joining a religion that promotes peace does not make you a peaceful person just as joining a violent religion will not make you a violent person. We will change our religion (or our interpretation of it) depending on who we are. Different religions allow for certain types of people, they do not create certain types of people.
Islam can be, and sometimes is, interpreted as a peaceful religion. This does not mean that Muslims are peaceful, it simply means that Islam can be compatible with peace. Unfortunately, it can also be interpreted to promote violence, which is why we see so many militant, fundamentalist Muslims. Don’t believe me?
“O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” Sura 9.123
“O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” Sura 5.51
“And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” Sura 2.191
“Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” Sura 60.8
“And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their wealth, and land ye have not trodden. Allah is ever Able to do all things.” Sura 33.27
This is not evidence that Muslims are violent, this is just a response to the many pro-Islam activists out there who insist that Islam is peaceful and that it encourages peace. Religions will always be interpreted to fit the individuals agenda.