Separating religion and its followers

In his Oct. 18 column “Religiously Yours,” Hemang Sharma mentions that: “Islam doesn’t allow bacon, beer, masturbation or pre-marital sex; thus being inherently against everything us Americans love.”

True, Islam doesn’t allow these things. In fact, if you look back into the history of faiths, all were established under a climate of persecution and heavy opposition precisely because religions require their followers to live by less than ideal standards.

The relevant question here is: As a society is it better for us to not consume bacon or beer? Or not to masturbate and engage in pre-marital sex?

In the concluding paragraph, Sharma mentions how religion “helped justify the attack of a girl who wanted other girls to go to school.”

Suppose you just bought a new car. While driving the new car if you were to run into a signpost and thereby damage the car, would you blame the car for it? Or would the blame be on you?

The same way, the problem is not with Islam. I agree that there are problems with people who claim to follow Islam, but this in no way means that Islam fosters incivility and is against progress.