Nicholas points out why we must discuss acts of extremists.
The glaring mistake most make when calling out extremism by religious groups is in making sweeping assumptions and statements. Extremists and fringe fundamentalists are very small minorities in most religions, but they have outsized influence because they know how to gain notoriety through extreme means and how to sway others to their path through sensationalized agitprop.
As long as you are speaking of the exact acts, words, deeds, and specific persons or specific sects and groups there should not be an issue, it’s when you start using “Muslims” and “Islam” or “Christians” and “Christianity” without specifying exact group, sect, government, or terror group that you become highly disingenuous, sometimes without even meaning to be that way. When writing about any religion it’s good practice to re-read what you wrote while putting yourself into the imaginary shoes of a moderate adherent of that religion - as you read do your words seem true, or do they become an outlandish mischaracterization? Update: As Curious Lurker points out in comments, if you replace the religion with a different religion and see it as offensive, then it probably is offensive to the average (Muslim, Jew, Christian) .
A Sudanese court in May sentences a Christian woman married to an American to be hanged, after first being lashed 100 times, after she refuses to renounce her Christian faith.
This is a sensitive area I’m wading into here, I realize. Islam-haters in America and the West seize upon incidents like these to denounce Islam as a malignant religion of violence, while politically correct liberals are reluctant to say anything for fear of feeding bigotry. Yet there is a real issue here of religious tolerance, affecting millions of people, and we should be able to discuss it. Muslim extremists in Iraq demand that Christians pay a tax or face crucifixion, according to the Iraqi government.
In Malaysia, courts ban some non-Muslims from using the word “Allah.”
In country after country, Islamic fundamentalists are measuring their own religious devotion by the degree to which they suppress or assault those they see as heretics, creating a human rights catastrophe as people are punished or murdered for their religious beliefs.
More: Religious Freedom in Peril