Our religious or civilizational identity may well be very important, but it is one membership among many. The question we have to ask is not whether Islam (of Hinduism or Christianity) is a peace-loving religion or a combative one, but how a religious Muslim (or Hindu or Christian) may combine his or her religious beliefs or practices with other features of personal identity and other commitments and values (such as attitudes to peace and war). To see one’s religious - or ‘civilizational’ - affiliation as an all-engulfing identity would be a deeply problematic diagnosis.
There have been fierce warriors as well as great champions of peace among devoted members of each religion, and rather than asking which one is the ‘true believer’ and which one a ‘mere impostor,’ we should accept that one’s religious faith does not in itself resolve all the decisions we have to make in our lives, including those concerning our political and social priorities and the corresponding issues of conduct and action. Both the proponents of peace and tolerance and the patrons of war and intolerance can belong to the same religion, and may be (in their own ways) true believers, without this being seen as contradiction. The domain of one’s religious identity does not vanquish all other aspects of one’s understanding and affiliation."