Posted on the Freethinker following the Islamist originated Paris attacks November 2015.  Islamic State took responsibility.
If in a hypothetical better world, had Islam not had violent commands in its scripture, the Quran, which God supposedly dictated would the Islamist violence have been as bad? Christians in some parts of the world are no better and the Christian reconstructionist movement believes that stoning gays and adulterers to death is God's will today. I would suggest that the state forces Islam and Christianity to remove violent commands from their holy books. It will take decades for that to be be workable though.
The reality is that Islamist terrorists come from Islam. If a religion is a breeding ground for even a few terrorists it is to blame as a religion especially if it teaches that violent scriptures were revealed by God. I am not accusing all Muslims of being terrorists but of creating a religion in which terrorists appear.
To those who say Islamic State is not really Muslim or Islamic -
Are you really in a position to judge what is really Muslim when you are not a Muslim scholar?
The Prophet said, "A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah's Cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it."

Sura 8:17 - “It was not you who slew them; it was Allah who slew them”.
These texts go beyond seeing violence as a necessary evil but as something sacred.

Are you in a position to say that Islamic State is a distortion of Islam? - that does not mean it is not Islam and they could be uncompromising and overly strict rather than a distortion.
Why do many ordinary Muslims anywhere in the world become ISIS - many of them simply cannot have been brainwashed?
Why does it claim to be Islamic?
Why does it want to create a world that will enslave it as well as everybody else to oppressive religious law?
Why does it tell the truth that the prophets it looks up to such as Muhammad and Moses were murderers say of idolaters? Its prophet Jesus said that anybody who did away with any command in the evil Old Testament - eg the command to kill gay men by stoning - would be called dung in the kingdom of Heaven.
Why does it specialise in suicide bombings as if expecting a heavenly reward?
Why does it teach that God has the right to take life and therefore the right to delegate or bestow that right on them?
Why does it teach the fact that there is nothing in the Koran like "love your neighbour as yourself?" Many would say that failure to do that shows you are making violence possible for your attitude to others falls short of what it should be.
Why say IS is not Muslim when in fact the Koran's nasty vicious verses vastly outnumber the ones calling for peace?
Why say Islam is great for its holy book says that killing one innocent person is like killing the whole world - to exaggerate how bad evil is in order to deter people is a form of bullying and hate? (It will do nothing to put criminally minded people off and the Koran has its own idea of what an innocent person is that differs from secular understanding.)
Why does it argue that its violent interpretation of the word of God in the holy book is possibly valid? It cannot say that unless there are violent texts in that book. And it could be right or if wrong then it is still a reasonable or understandable interpretation. If God likes violence and you engage in it in a way he does not approve of then it is hardly a huge mistake considering he is usually okay with violence anyway. Violent scriptures give an excuse for violence. A religion with violent messages from God be it Islam or Christianity is giving evil people an excuse for violence - giving the means to make an excuse. The less chance there is for making an excuse the better. Excuses should not be enabled by religion. The better the excuse, the more the religion is to blame.
Sura 17:96 is about the doctrine of abrogation where God cancelled verses he revealed in the Koran. It is assumed by some silly scholars and politicians that God is limiting his authority and giving us freedom to question. But is he?  Questioning in their book really means, "Maybe I should not obey his bad commands or his commands I don't like?"  Questioning in the honest sense means, "Maybe if I think this book preaches peace and its nasty commands can be passed over then I am wrong?!" God abrogating verses he authorised is yet another demonstration of authority so he is not. Abrogation is as much authority as non-abrogation - sorry it is more for you are asking people to believe that God who makes no mistakes or changes his mind does change his mind! The fact remains that the doctrine gives nobody the right to assume any bloody text in the Koran is abrogated. The ones that are scrapped are clearly indicated.
If man is violent and makes errors that sometimes do harm, it is to be expect that any religion coming from man is not intrinsically peaceful or good. A man-made faith will do harm at least at times. Those who say bad people acting in the name of religion are not really part of religion are just stupid or politically correct or they confuse morality and religion (the two are not exactly the same). They go to the extreme of not mentioning the violence and lunacy commanded in the Koran or Bible by God.
Even if ISIS were not really Muslim, the fact remains that it is still a religion. It could be seen as a Muslim heresy. It is still a demonstration of how faith in a supernatural force or god can lead to bloodshed. Faith after all is violence in the sense that you act as if you know what you do not know and that is always risky and harm often follows. It is doing violence against your knowledge that you do not know.
I think a devout Christian who has converted to Islam and who knows of the violence in the Bible that was commanded by God and for which Jesus never apologised and was okay with could easily turn into an ISIS convert. The openness to violence is already there.

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