Muslims often claim that their religion only allows violence when Islam is being threatened. It is important to note, however, that, as far as Islam is concerned, a “threat” doesn’t need to be an invading army. Insults against Muhammad, criticisms against Islam, hindering the preaching of Islam—all of this qualifies as an attack against Islam, and Muslims are called upon to react violently.
Interestingly enough, Bassam has admitted some of this in his comments. Responding to a question about Muslims invading foreign lands, Bassam said:
“As for invasions by islamic armies. They invaded lands whose rulers were oppressing them. They invaded lands that put a barrier between the preaching of Islam to the people, its like putting a barrier between the doctor and patient.”
So according to Bassam, it is okay for Muslims to invade a land (i.e. to use violence), if the country is interfering with the preaching of Islam. I pointed out to Bassam that, if Christians used his line of reasoning, they could invade
Bassam’s response was amazingly accurate and insightful. He said:
“Well, no it wouldn't be right for you because your religion does not teach that this is something that you should do if such a situation arises. Our religion does. Therefore, it would be wrong for you since your religion doesn't teach it and your doing this from your own line of reasoning.”
As Sunil pointed out, Bassam has admitted that, while Islam allows violence in such a situation, Christianity does not. And it is amazing to read such an honest reply. Notice what Bassam has acknowledged here. If a country refuses to allow Muslim preachers to enter the land and preach to non-Muslims, followers of Muhammad are called upon to declare war and conquer the land! This can hardly be viewed as a defensive war.
My point here is simply that when Muslims claim that they may only kill in self-defense, their definition of “self-defense” is much broader than people might expect. Any interference with the message of Islam, whether the offenders have used physical force or not, is grounds for violence. I have to agree with Bassam, however, that Christians may not resort to such tactics.