Fear is an important component in the acceptance of the ‘expert’ interpretation. Any information that justifies our fear is welcomed as support for what we already believe. Then we don’t have to think we are being irrational. “See, the expert feels the same as I do.” This simple cognitive mechanism of confirmation bias is scientifically demonstrable. And it is well known to those who seek to propagate false ideas. Verse 2:191 is perhaps the most commonly quoted piece of Koran in anti-Islamic/White Supremacist/Islamophobic sites and tweets. And it is taken out of context. It is, indeed, a call to violence, but it is not a call to attack. When coupled with the previous, but left out, verse 2:190, it is merely an admonition to defend against attackers.
What is never quoted by the anti-Islamic voice is the sentence that comes before it, verse 2:190: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.”
Note the double reference to transgression. One is cautioned to not let ‘defense’ become an excuse for indiscriminate killing.
I am not an Islamic scholar, but I can read. The misinformation is presented as if the writer is an expert. The target audience is not expected to know much about Islam or the Koran, and therefore welcomes an insight into a topic about the feared religion of Islam. “Well, I don’t know much about Islam, but this person does. After all, they have a web site and followers.”
ISIS and Al Qaeda have effectively used out-of-context and partially quoted ‘information’ to stir the minds of their followers. It is a method common to most political arguments, and you can find many examples in our current Presidential debates.
Beware of ‘experts’. And teach your children how to think about thinking. Perhaps thinking about thinking can become part of early childhood education to instill healthy attitudes about attitudes.