If Islam is a religion of peace, then ISIS shouldn’t be described as “radical” or “extremist” muslims. They should be described as non-muslims. If Islam is a religion of peace, then people should in fact be saying that we need more radical and extreme muslims.
What gets held up as the ideal is those that are called “moderate muslims”. Think about that. The implication is that you have to moderate Islam to make it a positive thing.
When it comes to Christianity, no one should want to be a “moderate Christian”. Genuine Christianity is radical and extreme. A radical Christian is one that takes the words and message of Jesus seriously. An extremist Christian is one that takes the love, mercy and grace of Jesus to extreme lengths – loving their neighbour, being generous, offering forgiveness and praying for their enemies.
If you saw a group of people who called themselves “Christians” but went around raping little girls and beheading people of other religions, you wouldn’t say they are a “radical Christian”. You wouldn’t say they are an “extreme Christian”. You’d say they weren’t a Christian.
When it comes to being a Jesus follower, we don’t need to be wary of “radicalisation”. What’s the alternative? Nominalism? Apathy? Our society and indeed the Christian church is way too full of that already.
Christians need to be a lot more extreme, a lot more radical. And if muslims around the world want people to take their claims that “Islam is a religion of peace” seriously, then they need to get more radical and extreme as well.
Their efforts to denounce, defund, expose, re-educate and stamp out the increasingly active streams of Islam like ISIS, needs to be a lot more than simply “moderate”.