The Holy Qur'an, like all scripture, contains life-giving and death-dealing words. Christians, even when quoting memorized scripture, sometimes know little about their own sacred texts and even less about those of others.
As President Obama invites the Muslim and Western worlds (as though they were separate and distinct) into renewed conversation and mutual understanding, I offer a few verses from the Qur'an for contemplation.
Quranic reflections on peace:
Do not make Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty to God, including making peace among humankind. (2.224)
You believers! When you go out (to fight) in the way of Allah, be careful to discern, and do not say to anyone who offers you peace: "You are not a believer." (4.94, in part)
Go to Pharaoh and say: Look! We are two messengers of your Lord. So let the children of Israel go with us, and do not torment them. We bring you a token from your Lord. And peace will be for the one who follows right guidance. (20.47)
Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary: a statement of the truth concerning which some doubt. (19.33-34)
If two parties of believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them. And if one party of them does wrong to the other, fight that one which does wrong till it returns to the ordinance of Allah; then, if it returns, make a just peace between them, and act equitably. Look! Allah loves the equitable. (49.9)
A mention of the mercy of your Lord to God's servant Zachariah.
When Zachariah cried to his Lord a cry in secret,
Saying: My Lord! Look! My bones grow feeble and my head is shining with grey hair, and I have never lacked blessing in prayer to You, my Lord. Look! I fear my kinsfolk after me, since my wife is barren. Oh, give me from Your presence a successor who shall inherit from me and inherit (also) the house of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, acceptable (to You).
(It was said to him): Zachariah! Look! We bring you tidings of a son whose name is John; we have given the same name to none before. He said: My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren and I have reached infirm old age? One said: So (it will be). Your Lord says: It is easy for Me, even as I created you before, when you were nothing.
Zachariah said: My Lord! Show me some sign. He said: Your token is that you, with no physical infirmity, shall not speak to humankind for three nights. Then Zachariah came out to his people from the sanctuary, and signified to them: Glorify your Lord at break of day and fall of night.
John! Hold fast the Scripture. And we gave him wisdom when a child, and compassion from Our presence, and purity; and he was devout, and dutiful toward his parents. And he was not arrogant, rebellious.
Peace on him the day he was born, and the day he dies and the day he shall be raised alive!
And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East, and had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our Spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect human. (19.3-17)
Food for thought.