Islamophobia or Muslimophobia is the prejudice, hatred, or bigotry directed against Islam or Muslims. In most of the developed countries, everyone is entitled to privately practice his own religion or faith. For most, the age of religious intolerance has come to an end, but Islam & Muslims are still experiencing prejudice around the world. Donald Trump has given rise to Islamophobia due to his anti Muslim and Anti Islamic rhetoric; he has poisoned the minds of many against Muslims and Islam. The persistent laying, deceit and stubbornness of people like Trump confirms that Islamophobes and Islamic extremists are just different sides of the same coin.
Islamophobia and Global Terrorism are the tools of Western imperialist & Zionists to advance their heinous agenda of world dominance to control the resources of Muslim world by division. These tools are integral part of their strategy in Hybrid Warfare to implement Bernard Lewis Plan and Neocon (Zionist Christian) corrupted theological agenda.
The Islamophobes misquote Islamic Holy texts like Takfiri terrorists of Daesh/ISIS, TTP, Al Qaidah, Boko Haram and other such groups, who are the puppets, tool of of anti Muslim powers [soldiers of devil]. Their target is always Muslims and Muslim countries. Any one interested to know about Islam, should search for Islamic authentic sources, the Islam preached and practiced by billions of Muslims during last 1400 years. These terrorist Takfeeri, Khwarij were rejected by mainstream Islam 1400 years ago.
Islam does not hate non Muslims, Quran clearly lays down the thumb rule for Muslim-Non Muslim relations:
Killing of innocent human not permitted (Qur’an;5:32,17:33)
“As for such (of the unbelievers) as do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity. Indeed, Allah loves those who act equitably”(Qur’an;60:8).
Islamophobia is an unfounded fear of the Islamic faith and, while it has existed for hundreds of years, has recently become a major problem in our society. Unfortunately the perception against Muslims as terrorists is not supported by any rationale, the independent surveys and statistics display totally different picture. According to the FBI, 94 percent of terrorist attacks carried out inside the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims. Keyword: Non-Muslims. Looking overseas, less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks carried out in Europe in the past five years have been by Muslims. From 9/11 to the end of 2015, less than 0.0002 percent of Americans killed were killed by Muslims. No matter where you look, every single statistic will scream to you that there is absolutely no valid association between the over 1.6 billion peaceful Muslims in the world and the terror committed by those who hijack Islam.
When we say Islam teaches peace, we really mean it.Nobel Peace Prize is the biggest award for those who promote peace in the world. Five out of the twelve past people who have won this award have been Muslims. So if some one claims that “all Muslims are terrorists” because a single digit percentage of terrorists happen to be Muslim, then all Muslims are peacemakers because 42 percent of Nobel Peace Prize winners in the past 12 years have been Muslims.
Muslims are playing essential role in fighting terrorism. Many polls and studies conducted in the last few years show that Muslims have played a crucial role in helping law enforcement find terror suspects in the United States. In fact, a recent study by Duke University showed that Muslim Americans helped catch more terrorism suspects and perpetrators than the United States government itself. Furthermore, many Muslims have served and currently serve in the military to help protect this nation from terrorists.
Muslims majority hate ISIS just as much as any one else does. This fact which is not well known to many: Muslims are the largest victims of ISIS’s terror as well as the largest victims of all terrorism in general, according to the U.S. State Department. Muslims want to defeat terrorism just as much as any other American, European or nay one else. This is why we have Muslim youth, and various Muslim groups and scholars that have done much more to combat ISIS than Islamophobes like Donald Trump ever will.
Apart form rise of Islamophobia in USA, Europe is not lagging behind, France is another case, the “Burkini ban” pursued in Cannes and about thirty other towns might have just been overturned in the French courts, but it was only the latest and most absurd Islamophobic assault endured by Muslims in the country. The French state has excluded and exploited Muslims for decades. The intensity of this assault varies, but the terrorist attacks in Paris in January and November 2015, and in Nice and Rouen in 2016, have sent it to fever pitch. Apart from the postcolonial context, the political history of Muslims in France can’t be understood without an appreciation of their economic position and relation to the labor movement.
The term ‘Islamophobia’ has only very recently been coined, as recent as the mid-1990s. It is one of a whole range of expressions that has grown out of the ‘politically correct’ ethos of the 1990s. The spirit of multiculturalism and pluralism was the climate that enabled the birth and circulation of the term. But unlike other terms born at this time it has not become household currency; Muslim organisations alert to discrimination against Muslims appear to be the only users of the term, and there has been no shortage of occasions to use it. But it is not merely another in the range of fashionable words made up in the West during this period. The wholly negative attitude towards Islam in the West has a very long history and has a palpable feel more than ever at the moment. Islamophobia is alive and well.
Hostility towards Islam and Muslims has been a feature of European societies since the eighth century of the Common Era. A massive storm of anti-Muslim hatred emerged and spread across large parts of the then Christian world with the expansion of Muslim political rule, from the early eighth century onwards. It was this that, in large measure, propelled the Crusades, which played a major role in propagating and perpetuating deeply-held negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in the West. A major role in this regard was played by the Church and Christian polemicists. They spread such erroneous propaganda about Islam which today many Christians themselves feel embarrassed about, writes Maulana Waris Mazhari. It has taken different forms, however, at different times and has fulfilled a variety of functions. For example, the hostility in Spain in the fifteenth century was not the same as the hostility that had been expressed and mobilised in the Crusades. Nor was the hostility during the time of the Ottoman Empire or that which was prevalent throughout the age of empires and colonialism. It may be more apt to speak of ‘Islamophobias’ rather than of a single phenomenon. Each version of Islamophobia has its own features as well as similarities with, and borrowings from, other versions.
Popular Misconceptions of Islamophobes:
The legacy of this medieval Christian Islamophobic propaganda lives on even today. Thus, according to a recent survey conducted by an American Muslim organization, Council for American Islamic Relations, a fourth of Americans hold extremely negative views about Islam, and half of all Americans see Islam in a negative light. Only two per cent of Americans have a good knowledge of Islam. It can thus be said that despite the centuries of Muslim-Christian relations, most Westerners have no proper idea of what Islam actually is. The Council of American-Islamic Relations, enumerates some out of the many misconceptions commonly held by Islamophobes:
- Islam is unchanging and refuses to adapt to new realities or changing times.
- Islam shares no common values with any of the other major religions.
- Islam is no longer relevant and their ideals are irrational.
- Islam is tied to terrorism.
- Islam promotes violence.
They are based upon the distorted ideology followed by minority heretics (few thousands in numbers), just a fraction of over 1.6 billion Muslims who reject their ideology of violence and terror based upon misinterpretation of Islamic texts. It is illogical to accept the views of small minority and use it as propaganda tool to malign the majority Muslims. None of these perceptions are true by any means, but are still believed as ‘gospel truth’ by many people suffering from Islamophobia.
“I often wonder if Islamophobes and Islamic extremists realize that they are just different sides of the same coin”. [Theresa Corbin]. They both promote fear and hatred of large groups of diverse peoples. Both groups wish to sweep as many people up in their seriously dangerous causes. They both want war, and use any manner and means to get it, including promoting a distorted view of Islam. They take verses out of context and employ weak or questionable hadith (sayings, actions, or approvals of the Prophet) to reach their own political ends. The best hope one can wish for humanity, it would be that these groups can go off and deal with each other and leave the rest of us, the majority of humanity to live in peace and cooperation, free from their detrimental rabble-rousing. Antarctica is nice in summers; maybe they can snuggle up together for warmth and find some common ground in the fact that we are all human beings.
While these unfortunate misconceptions have been held for centuries, Islamophobia has been on the rise in recent times. Since the September 11th attacks in the U.S., many uninformed Americans have started viewing followers of the Islamic faith as an “enemy” of the United States. This sentiment is absolutely untrue. There is no link between Islam and terrorism and this type of incorrect information is a leading cause of Islamophobia.
Causes of Islamophobia
The leading cause for Islamophobia is usually misinformation or total lack of information based on the religion. Unfortunately, Islamophobic people are not likely to be willing to educate themselves about their fears or spend time around any Islamic people. This feeling is somewhat understandable, as they do claim to be physically afraid of the Islamic people, but this attitude will likely lead to a worsening of their fear and not provide any situation for positive change.
Islamophobia can not only hold you back in your life, it can also hold back others around you. This condition is not only an extreme or irrational fear of people following the Islamic beliefs, it is usually coupled with a hatred of their religion. As a result, it leads to an unfair demeanor towards someone’s right for a personal choice. This phobia is generally construed as a form of prejudice towards other religions and has recently become a relatively significant issue in our society. Making the effort for change will make a huge difference in your personal life, usually resulting in a more calm and collected composure in previously perceived stressful situations. If you are ready to make this positive change, on both a personal and social level, do some preliminary Internet research to find the best treatment options available locally to you. This series of articles will also help to achieve same goal.
From the late eighteenth century, an increasing number of Western scholars and travelers began taking an interest in studying Islam and Muslim societies. This soon took the form of a veritable movement or a specialized discipline, known as Orientalism. From its inception, Orientalism was deeply influenced by the Christian missionary agenda as well as by Western imperialism, both of which it served. Although, in this way, Orientalism had a very stark negative dimension, it played a crucial role in seeking to bridge the divide between the West and the East. Orientalists produced a massive amount of literature on ‘Oriental’ societies, including on Muslim societies and Islam. According to Edward Said, in the period between 1800 and 1950 alone, Orientalist scholars penned some 60,000 books, mainly in different European languages, on West Asia.
Following the Second World War, Western and Muslim scholars began moving in the direction of seeking to understand each other in a more balanced and serious fashion. A major cause for this was the migration of a sizeable number of Muslim scholars to the West. Another reason was the emergence of serious initiatives to promote Muslim-Christian dialogue and harmony. However, the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 led to the rapid upsurge of Islamophobic sentiments in the West. And, after that, it appears that carefully-organized attempts are being made on a menacing scale in the West to further fan these hatreds by seeking to project, through very poisonous propaganda, the image of Muslims as allegedly bloody monsters. The attacks of 9/11 gave a tremendous boost to this Islamophobic discourse, the ideological groundwork for which was done by self-styled Islamic ‘experts’ such as Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis.
The Present Environment:
The present context, following the events of 9/11, has proven to be horrific as far as Muslims are concerned. Islamophobia has now taken the place once occupied in the Western imagination by Anti-Semitism, and aggressive efforts are underway in the West directed against Islam and Muslims. Earlier, this was the handiwork mainly of certain extremist Christian evangelical groups, but now key political and social groups and forces in the West are also engaged in it. In fact, these groups and forces are, in a sense, even more virulent, and their propaganda and actions more hard-hitting, than that of fiercely anti-Muslim Christian organizations because, particularly in Europe, the latter do not enjoy overwhelming public support. It is clear that these forces are directly opposed to Islam as such, acting on the advice of the likes of Samuel Huntington, who argues that the underlying problem of relations between the West and Muslims is not ‘Islamic fundamentalism’, but, rather, Islam itself.
The anti-Islamic project and propaganda in the West can be attributed, then, to two basic forces: ‘Secular Fundamentalists’ and ‘Religious Fundamentalists’. The former have a huge influence in Western governments, bureaucracies, multinational corporations, the media, universities, strategic think-tanks, charitable foundations and branches of the United Nations. These forces can, as suggested earlier, be regarded as a greater challenge and threat to Islam and Muslims than Western Christian and Jewish religious fundamentalists, because they have a much greater influence and say in their own societies as well as globally. They have a decisive role in moulding the opinions of governments and peoples. Unfortunately, Muslims focus all their attention and ire not on these forces but on Western religious fundamentalists instead.
Christian evangelicals and Christian Zionists in the West, Jewish Zionists in the West and Israel and Hindutva ideologues in India have worked to create a climate of Islamophobia throughout the world. There are now a vast number of fiercely anti-Islamic Christian preachers who receive the open support of American imperialists. They call themselves ‘Doctors’, ‘Professors’ and ‘Reverends’, and this gives them and their stridently anti-Islamic propaganda greater legitimacy among their flock. The list of top ten Islam haters substantiates the claim.
Top Ten Islamophobes (Islam Haters):
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has published its intelligence Report exposing the ten top Islam haters in America. They all have one thing in common – they are ‘Israel-Firsters’. They have contributed significantly to create hatred against Islam and Muslims. The list includes Bill French, Brigitte Gabriel (Lebanon’s maid of darkness), P. David Gaubatz (a Zionist Jew), Pamella Geller (born to Jewish parents, Reuben (“Ruby”) and Lillian Geller), David Horowitz (a Zionist Jew), John Joeph Jay, Pastor Terry Jones, Debbie Schlussel (Polish Jewish descent), Robert Spencer and David Yerushalmi, an Islam-hating Jewish White Supremacist. Some of these Islam-haters were among FAIR’s 2008 list of Dirty Dozen Islamophobe. For example, David Horowitz, Robert Spencer and Debbie Schlussel. The Norway mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik, had mentioned in his 1500-page Israeli bible, two prominent American pro-Israel ‘Islamophobes’ – Pamela Geller of ‘Atlas Shrugs’ and Robert Spencer of ‘Jihad Watch’ – who inspired him hating Muslims. SPLC has this to say on the ‘expertise’ of these Islam-haters. Bill French has no formal training or background on law, Islam or Shari’ah. Brigitte Gabriel views Islam in absolute terms as a monolithic threat to the United States, Israel and the West. She is prone to sweeping generalizations and exaggerations as she describes a grand, sophisticated Muslim conspiracy bent on world domination. David Gaubatz is a former civilian agent who worked in the Middle East for the US Air Forces Office of Special Investigations. He called Islam a “cancer”. Pamela Geller is a hardcore Zionist and a self-styled expert on Islam with no formal training in the field. She feel ‘liberated’ by posing for an anti-Muslim video in a bikini. She also claimed that President Barack Obama being the “love child” of Malcolm X, and once suggested that recent US Supreme Court appointee Elena Kagen, who is Jewish and lesbian, supports Nazi ideology. John Joseph Jay is remarkable for his unreconstructed hatred of all Muslims. He believes attacks by Muslim terrorists justify any violence directed at any Muslim, adding that, as he sees it, the Koran itself justifies such blind retaliation. Pastor Terry Jones received Zionist media attention when he threatened to burn copies of Holy Qur’an. Terry’s Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Fla., is listed by the SPLC as a hate group. Debbie Schlussel’s hatred of Muslims is due to her love for the Zionist entity. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), was co-founded in 1971 by Joe Levin, a Zionist Jew. Several of its top management positions are held by Zionist Jews; Richard Cohen, President; Mary Bauer, legal director; Mark A. Potok, director intelligence project; Heidi Beirich, director of research; Daniel Werner, deputy legal director and many more. Ironically, SPLC claims Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) is a racist group! Prominent anti-Muslim writers and pundits like Robert Spencer (of “Jihad Watch”) and Pamela Gellar (who writes the blog Atlas Shrugs)—both of whom are co-founders of the organization “Stop Islamization of America.”
The mass media, popular culture and the leading forces in world politics are all mostly hostile to and in their representations of Islam and Muslims. The evidence for this is ample and can be demonstrated by reference to reportage on Islam in the British press for instance. If you are a Muslim reading this in Britain you will need little demonstration, however. Everyday experience is sufficient.
The Runnymede Trust document on British Muslims and Islamophobia (released in 1998) contains numerous examples from the media and other evidence while also being a comprehensive account of the problem in British society. It is a commendable Report that governments and civic groups in Europe and North America should learn from and produce similar Reports on their situation. But issuing a Report does not change a bad situation. Thus the depiction of Muslims and Islam has seen no change since then.
Islam Phobia, Xenophobia & Racism:
However, the term ‘Islamophobia’ does not adequately express the full range and depth of antipathy towards Islam and Muslims in the West today. It is an inadequate term. ‘Phobia’ is Greek for dread or horror. In the light of the present discussion, the term xenophobia – the original word on which Islamophobia is based – simply means fear of foreigners or dread of strangers. Attitudes and policies towards Muslims in USA, Britain, Europe and even countries like India have a mixture of dread (phobia) and outright racism. Thus attitudes towards Muslims combine fear and active hostility. Islamophobia does not capture this marriage of fear and hostility, of dread and discrimination, of horror and harassment.
A more accurate expression would be ‘anti-Islamic racism’ for it combines the elements of dislike of a religion and active discrimination against the people belonging to that religion. The discrimination is racist because it is based on the belief that no matter what such a person does he or she will never be an acceptable to or in the West. But if there is still little awareness of and sensitivity to ‘Islamophobia’ then ‘anti-Islamic racism’ stands even less of a chance of widespread usage and acceptance in the mainstream media and among politicians. But the struggle is as much over discourse as over actual experience and therefore no effort should be spared to focus on every aspect of what some may call Islamophobia and others anti-Islamic racism.
The Current wave of Islamophobia:
There are multiple reasons, the most significant, that Islam represents a particular ideology and way of life which is fundamentally opposed, in several crucial ways, to Western liberalism, consumerism and capitalism. Although the Islamic ideology and system in its proper form has not been practiced in full in recent times. Yet, the West regards these as a threat and challenge to the dominant Western world-view. To add to this, the West needs an enemy to seek to justify its global hegemony and its imperialist designs, particularly in poorer countries of the global South. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has conjured up Islam as its new opponent to serve this role. This has been facilitated by the obvious fact that today, with the decline of Communism, the only potent challenge that Western Imperialism and Capitalism face is from Islam.
The other factor fuelling the Islamophobic frenzy in the West is the alternative posed to the West by the Islamic moral code and its growing the emotionally-driven methods that were sought to be used to enforce this code in Iran and Afghanistan by Islamic groups have further antagonized the West. To add to this is the issue of the strong relations between the West, particularly America, and Israel. In these countries, especially America, Jewish Zionist forces enjoy considerable economic and political clout, and Israel itself, which is at the forefront of global Islamophobia, serves as a major tool for American imperialism and for keeping the Arab world under American control. In the Indian context, a secular Hindu country, hatred to Muslims have gained new heights with the policies of BJP (Bhartya Janta Party) and elevation of Narindra Modi as Prime Minister. The politics of BJP is based upon communal hatred of Muslims and Islam and revengeful to Muslim rule of India for a millennium.
The present wave of “Islamophobia” is “Reaction” to the “Extreme and violent actions” of second and third generation of American trained Mujahedeen [Former ‘Jihadis‘ now renamed as Taliban, Daesh, Bokoharam and similar outfits). Afghan fighters were equipped, financed and supported by USA and Western allies, but they were abandoned in Afghanistan after defeat of communist USSR in 80’s.
They chalked out their own violent agenda under the guise and label of Islam, which is rejected by Islamic scholars. The Palestine tragedy and oppression of Muslims all over the globe are other reasons besides the historic malice. In the Middle East, after fall of secular Saddam regime, Iranian dominated sectarian regime divided the country on ethnic and sectarian lines, thus emergence of extremist groups like Daesh (Un-Islamic State). The covert and overt support of minority dictatorial rule of Asad in Syria by Iran and Russia has further complicated the situation. Saudi involvement in Yemen and links with anti Iran forces has made the situation problematical. The resultant terrorism, mass killing of civilians and refuges exodus to Europe has sounded the alarm bells. The Europe is neither willing to accept the refuges nor willing to establish peace in the Middle East. The Islamophobia is rising in Europe.
Instead of tackling the Extremists through focused approach, many in USA and West have started blaming Islam and 1.6 Billion Muslims for violence, to which innocent Muslims themselves are victims. Muslims are being killed both by terrorists as well as US and allied forces in Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Nigeria, Kashmir and elsewhere.
Roots of Terror:
The following excerpts explain the situation in brief:
“Seems Taliban & Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan creation of Western Russophobes who gave contra-productive Victory to brutal Muslim fanatics during the Cold War out of hate, revenge and competition with Russia, without thinking of the future consequences? Another cruel mistake? Afghanistan was given to Radical Islamists. Politicians should study history and should not make decisions based on phobias, prejudice and narrow-mindedness.
The Economist magazine noted soon after September 11, Russophobic policies in Afghanistan a decades and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him.” An examination of this history will reveal the extent to which that foreign policy is based on hypocrisy, realpolitik, and the short-term pursuit of narrow interests”.
During Cold War, in February 1980, Washington Post reported that Mujahedeen was receiving arms coming from U.S. government to fight Soviets.
The objective of the intervention, as spelled out by Russophobe Brezinski, was to trap Soviets in a long and costly war designed to drain their resources, just as Vietnam had bled United States. To hurt t Russians, he deliberately choses to give most support to most extreme groups of mujahideens. A disproportionate share of U.S. arms went to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, “a particularly fanatical fundamentalist and woman-hater.”‘ According to journalist Tim Weiner, ” [Hekmatyar’s] followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil.
With support of Pakistan’s military dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq, U.S. began recruiting and training both mujahideen fighters from 3 million Afghans in Pakistan and large numbers of mercenaries from other Islamic countries. Estimates of how much money Russophobes in the U.S. government channeled to the Afghan rebels over next decade vary, but most sources put the figure between $3 billion and $6 billion, or more. In March 1985, Reagan administration issued a plan to escalate covert action in Afghanistan dramatically.
Abandoning a policy of simple harassment of Soviets, Reagan team decided secretly to let loose on the Afghan battlefield an array of U.S. high technology and military expertise in an effort to hit and demoralize Soviet commanders and soldiers.. By 1987, the annual supply of arms had reached 65,000 tons.
As well as training and recruiting Afghan nationals to fight Soviets, CIA permitted its ISI allies to recruit Muslim extremists from around the world. Eventually more than 100,000 Muslim radicals were to have direct contact with Pakistan and Afghanistan and be influenced by the jihad [against the USSR].
In camps near Peshawar and in Afghanistan, these radicals met each other for the first time and studied trained and fought together. The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism. One of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the ranks of the mujahideen was Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with most radical Mujahideen leaders. By 1984, he was running Maktab al-Khidamar, an organization set up by the ISI to funnel “money, arms, and fighters from outside world in the Afghan war.” “In 1988, with U.S. knowledge, bin Laden created Al Qaeda (The Base): a conglomerate of quasi independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries,” writes journalist Rahul Bhedi. “Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Qaeda, confident that it would not directly impinge on the U.S.” Over the past 17 years, the “Afghani” network has been linked to terrorist attacks not only on U.S. targets, but also in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, France, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Algeria, and elsewhere. “This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost,” one U.S. diplomat in Pakistan told the Los Angeles Times. “You can’t plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences. But it was done. As the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in early 1989, American policymakers celebrated with champagne, while the country itself collapsed into virtual anarchy. Later, a new group, the Taliban (“students”), emerged on the scene. Its members came from madrassas set up by Pakistani government along the border and funded by U.S., Britain, and Saudis, where they had received theological indoctrination and military training. The roots of Taliban lay in 20 years of “jihad”(supported by Western Russophobes) against the Russia’s effort to keep extreme Islam away from it’s borders. How many American and NATO soldiers have to die in the former Russia’s war for Failed Policy of those Russophobes?”
In brief instead of tackling the Extremists through focused approach, USA and West has started blaming Islam and 1.6 Billion Muslims for violence, to which innocent Muslims themselves are victims. Muslims are being killed both by terrorists as well as US and allied forces in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere. Who are allies and who are victims? Hence “Islamophobia” is “irrational” fear of or prejudice against Islam, rather than simple criticism, prejudice against, or hatred or fear of Islam or Muslims.
The Misconceptions, Delusions and Causes:
Many misconceptions exist in the West (representing Christianity) about Islam and Muslims, which were deliberately created by their clergy and medieval rulers to disguise the true message of Islam to justify their hostility towards Islam. “Surely the only (true) religion in the sight of God is (man’s) self surrender unto Him (Islam): Those who (formerly) received the Scripture differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. They should know that God is swift in calling to account those who deny His revelations.”(Qur’an;3:19). W. Montgomery Watt, a Western scholar observed : ‘Among the world’s major religions it is certainly Islam that the West has the most difficulty in approaching objectively. The reason for this are rooted in past history.
Because of the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries many people in the West wanted the religion of Islam to be better known. But the image they portrayed of Islam can quite accurately be qualified as ‘distorted’. Western opinion about Islam and Muslims was based
for centuries on the distorted image’. The major misconceptions created in the minds of westerners against Islam and Muslims may be summed up as:
- The God of Islam is different to the God of Jews and Christians
- He is a ruthless God, urging Muslims to kill anyone not believing in their faith
- Muslims are pagans who worship a black cubical structure at Makkah.
- The Prophet of Islam was a warrior and conqueror who did not believe in the human rights and preached violence
- Islam was spread with the sword
- The scripture of Islam is based on the Old and New Testaments
- The women are treated as subhuman by the Muslims; polygamy and veil are to exploit the women, they have no human rights;
- The Islamic Law (Shari’ah) is very harsh, is based on strict punishment without meeting the requirements of justice; it awards flogging, cutting of hand and stoning to death, all primitive laws of ancient times.
- Muslims hate the Western values, considering them as thereat, hence they have resorted to terrorism as a means to undermine and destroy Western values so that they can enforce their values on the West.
Causes of Growth of Delusions:
The events which contributed towards growth of these delusions are numerous, however most prominent are:
- The fall of territories of Christendom around Arabia since 8th
- The Crusades (1095-1291)
- The fall of remnants of Byzantine Empire at the hand of Muslims
- The conquest of Spain and Muslim rule for eight centuries
- The westward expansion of Ottoman Empire
- The besiege of Vienna twice by Ottoman Turks (1529 & 1683)
- Colonization of most of Muslim world by the Western powers and resistance by Muslims to gain independence
- The resurgence of Islam, specially the militancy against Western negative attitude, unjust creation and support of Israel, oppression of Muslims at Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Muslims with in their societies and other countries.
- To control the large natural resources specially oil, gas and strategically important centers of population, zones and trade routes held by Muslims, a bogy has to be created to subdue them.
- The materialism has eroded Western values, the Islamic values and culture based on the eternal truth is attracting the Westerns in great numbers, hence Islam is perceived as a threat.
- After demise of communism with the help of Muslims, Western gigantic military industrial complex need an enemy and market for their military hardware, so a new battle ground have been created at Muslims lands. The old spirit of snobbery and prejudice, the hatred of Islam, displays itself in writings, in electronic and print media attacks, internet chat rooms, private conversations and in public speeches. The spirit of persecution is not dead in Christianity, after lying dormant for some time it is out fully ablaze.
Muslims Worship Same One Supreme God and Believe in All Biblical Messengers of God: It is contemplated that a careful in-depth study may help in removing most of the ideological misunderstandings and misconceptions: (http://justonegod.blogspot.com)
- It is well known fact that the God of Muslims is the same God, the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus , Jews , the God of all the people and the universe (Qura’n;112:1, Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5, 46:9, Mark;12:29).
- Muslims believe in all these messengers, prophets and the scriptures revealed to them: “Do not argue with the People of the Book except in good taste – except with those who are wicked among them – and say: “We believe in that which is sent down to us and that which is sent down to you; Our God and your God is the same One God, and unto Him we surrender.”(Qur’an;29:46).
- Due to common root of faith, that is the faith of Abraham, there are obvious commonalities in the revealed scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Bible and Qur’an) as their source is the same God. The perversion of their scriptures was condemned by God:” And , behold , there are indeed some among them who distort the Scripture with their tongues, so as to make you think that (what they say) is from Scripture, the while it is not from the Scripture; and who say,” This is form God,” the while its not from God: and thus do they tell a lie about God, being ell aware(that it is a lie) (Qur’an;3:78).“O People of the Book! Why do you confound the truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth?”(Qur’an;3:71).
- The Christian and Jewish scholars changed the words of God in contravention to the commandment of God, in the same Bible: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I (God) command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy; 4:2). “It is not possible for a man whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophethood, that he would say to the people: “Worship me instead of Allah.” On the contrary he would say: “Be devoted worshippers of your God in accordance with the Holy Book you have been teaching and reading.” He would never ask you to take angels and prophets as your lords. Would he ask you to become unbelievers after you have become Muslims (believers)?” (Qur’an;3:79-80).
- The Old and New Testaments are not in its original form, “How can you say, ‘We’re wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us,’ when, in fact, the deceitful pen of the scribe has made it into something that deceives.”(Jeremiah 8:8). However Qur’an the last scripture is available in its original form even today because Allah has Himself taken responsibility to guard it against corruption: “Surely We have revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and We will most certainly guard it (from corruption).”(Qur’an;15:9).
- The Islamic law is based on Qur’an and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), some punishment of Law of Moses have been retained while others were relaxed, they provide the best form of justice where ever put in to practice. Muslims worship only One God, they face towards Qibla (the direction) the Ka’bah for unity. Islam accords much batter position to women than mentioned in Bible. The women are highly respected in Islam while they have been made a show piece in the West on the name of equality and freedom. (More: http://womenfolks.blogspot.com)
Muslims Need not to be Apologetic for Terrorism:
Just imagine this: You wake up in the morning to hear your wife screaming at you because it’s pouring rain outside. She hates the rain and now her day is ruined because of you. You go downstairs only to hear your children yell at you because they broke the toaster. They can’t have waffles now and it’s all your fault. On the way to work, you stop and fill up gas only to hear everyone at the gas station curse you out because gas prices have risen. You arrive at work only to see all your coworkers gathered around your desk demanding that you apologize for the printer being jammed. On the way home from work, everyone on the highway screams at you because they are upset with the rush hour traffic. (Modified excerpts from article by Omar Alnatour, Huffington Post)
- Quite a ridiculous scenario, right?
- Can you imagine always being blamed for things that you have absolutely no control over?
- Can you imagine always being asked to apologize for these things?
- Can you imagine being hated whether or not you do apologize?
- This is what being a Muslim in America today feels like.
Any proud, peaceful, law-abiding person who is working wholeheartedly, honestly for the well being of his family, society and humanity and happened to be a “MUSLIM”, one of over 1.6 billion who are blamed collectively whenever an act of terrorism occurs as if they are nothing more than this 6-letter word hijacked by those who wrongly use the religion called Islam to justify their heinous crimes.
A Muslim living in America, Europe, Middle East, Pakistan or at any other part of the world, who continually strives to do everything he/she can for the betterment of his community and this nation, feel tired of being asked to apologize and condemn terrorism that he / she has absolutely nothing to do with.
Omar Alnatour, in his article in Huffington Post, cites 5 Reasons Why Muslims Should Never Have To Apologize for Terrorism, eexcerpts:
- It’s ridiculous to ask us to apologize:
As a practicing Muslim, I know that my religion teaches peace. I am so certain of this fact that I will award anyone $10,000 if they can find me a verse in the Quran that says it’s ok to kill innocent people or to commit acts of terror. This is an open offer that will never expire.
I also know that Muslims, as a religious group, are not terrorists. I have factually proved this. I also have factually proved that you are more likely to be struck by lightening, crushed to death by a couch, or killed by a toddler, than to be killed by a Muslim.
This being said, why should I have to apologize for a violence that I have no connection to? A violence my religion blatantly stands against.
- Should car manufacturers have to apologize when drunk drivers kill people using their vehicles?
- Should you be required to apologize to the police if your sibling gets a speeding ticket because you share the same last name?
- Should every single gun owner in America have to apologize whenever someone is killed by a firearm?
- Should weathermen have to apologize for cloudy days?
- Should pharmacists have to apologize for your allergies?
- Should I have to apologize for the typos of another writer?
Unless you can find that $10,000 verse or unless you blatantly hear a Muslim explicitly supporting terrorism, please understand that asking Muslims, both individually and collectively, to apologize for terrorism would be just as ridiculous as the questions above.
2) It should be obvious by now that Muslims condemn terrorism:
By now, it should be very clear that Muslims condemn terrorism. All it takes is a simple Google search of any terrorist attack to find the plethora of Muslims publicly condemning it. Try it out. For example, here are over 40 examples of Muslims condemning the Charlie Hebdo attacks. And here is an example of how Muslims all across the world condemned the Paris attacks.
Muslims condemn terrorism, we always have. This is a fact. And just as I shouldn’t have to reassure you each morning that the sky is still blue, Muslims should not have to reassure you that we still condemn terrorism every single time a terrorist attack occurs.
And frankly, if you don’t already believe that Muslims condemn terrorism by now, then no apology or repeated broken-record condemnation from any Muslim or Muslim organization will help cure your intolerant hatred.
3) Muslims are at the very forefront of combating terrorism:
The only thing more ridiculous than asking people to apologize for something they have no connection to is to make people apologize for something they are working so hard to combat.
Muslims want to defeat terrorism just as much as any other American, (or any peace loving human being) if not more. Millions of Muslim youth are taking a stand against ISIS. This is why tons of Muslim groups and scholars repeatedly issue statements condemning ISIS, many even being beheaded by ISIS for doing so.
This is why more than 120 Muslim scholars from around the world joined together to write an open letter to ISIS, denouncing them as un-Islamic by using Islamic terms. This is why Muslims are being killed by ISIS for publicly opposing this terrorist group’s persecution of Christians.
For the same reasons that firemen don’t apologize for fires and doctors don’t apologize for heart disease, Muslims should not be expected or asked to apologize for something they are working so hard to combat.
4) Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism:
- According to the Counter Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Al-Qaeda kills over seven times more Muslims than non-Muslims.
- According to the UN, Muslims are the largest victims of ISIS.
- According to the State Department, Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism in general.
- No matter where you look, you will find that the strongest association between Muslims and terrorism is one in which Muslims are victims of it.
- There is a sad irony in how Muslims are the largest victims of terrorism yet also receive the most hatred for it.
Just as it would be wrong to blame African Americans for slavery, starving children for world hunger, and toddlers for school shootings, it is equally wrong to blame Muslims for terrorism when we are always the victims of it.
Want me to call the leader of ISIS and tell him to stop committing terror? Give me his contact information; I’d be happy to. Any Muslim would. But just know that the conversation would begin with us, ISIS’s largest victims, telling him to stop hijacking our religion to justify killing Muslims who actually follow it.
5) If we have to apologize for terrorism, then so should everyone else:
This last point is especially important. Why are Muslims the only group that are required to apologize for and condemn the actions of criminals that associate with their group?
To put things into perspective, ask yourself:
- Why aren’t all white males asked to apologize for the slavery that white males endorsed less than two centuries ago?
- The slavery in which one third of slaves were Muslims.
- Why aren’t all Buddhists asked to apologize for the radical Buddhist monks in Mynammar that are violently attacking Muslims?
- Why aren’t all policemen asked to apologize for the racist cops that are dropping the bodies of unarmed blacks like leaves in the autumn?
You must understand that just as you are detached from the heinous crimes mentioned above, I am just as detached from the terrorism that so many keep trying to link me with for no other reason than me being a Muslim.
You must understand that by asking me whether I condemn terrorism, you are questioning my humanity. (Omar Alnatour)
Some of the common Provocative statements by Islamophobes are listed here to understand their mindset:
- “Despite what they may say, Muslims are and have always been on a mission to conquer and kill infidels. They’ve been doing it for centuries and will continue until we’re all dead, or they’re all dead, or the world ends, whichever comes first. We need to get over ourselves and focus on stopping the spread of Islamofascism. Period. Save civility and Koran “handling” for less perilous times.”[La Shawn Barber]
- “Just turn (the sheriff) loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line” (to Georgia law officers, November 2001)[Rep. C. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)]
- “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”[Ann Coulter]
- “It is the black heart of Islam, not the black face, to which millions object.”[Will Cummins]
- It [Islam] is a menace to all we in the West hold dear, and the time when anyone can pretend otherwise is almost at an end.”[Nick Griffin]
- “Muslims everywhere behave with equal savagery. They behead criminals, stone to death female – only female – adulteresses, throw acid in the faces of women who refuse to wear the chador, mutilate the genitals of young girls and ritually abuse animals”[Robert Kilroy-Silk]
- “These elements have a negative effect on all of public security. They are strengthened demographically both by natural reproduction and by immigration, which reinforces their stubborn ethnic segregation, their domineering nature. This is the world of Islam in all its aberrations.”[Jean-Marie Le Pen]
- Arlene Peck: “Most of the Muslims reaching the U.S. refuse to learn our language and take over our neighborhoods with their codes of dress and education. Then, they pressure the residents, as they did in Dearborn, Michigan, to leave by razing the churches and putting mosques in their places, displacing the local delis with Middle Eastern food. The Arabic signs go up and another neighborhood bites the dust. Now, everyone can be serenaded five times a day with loudspeakers calling them to prayer. Fast learners, they are now armed with the knowledge of how to beat us with bullets and ballots.”
- “Thousands of alienated young Muslims, most of them born and bred here but who regard themselves as an army within, are waiting for an opportunity to help to destroy the society that sustains them.” Melanie Phillips:
- “Christianity was founded by the virgin-born Jesus Christ. Islam was founded by Mohammed [(pbuh) xxxx blasphemous contents removed]: Jerry Vines.
The misconceived perceptions of Islamophobes are due to total misunderstanding of Islam. Hence it is relevant to briefly introduce the basics of Islamic faith.
- http://bible-christianity.blogspot.com http://womenfolks.blogspot.com
- https://rehmat1. com/2012/03/29/splcs-top-10-islamophobes/
- Counter-Islamophobia Project: http://www.islamophobia.org/
- What is Islam: https://islamphobia.wordpress.com/about/islam-introduction/
Islam – A Short Introduction:
Islam is an Arabic word, meaning for the attainment of ‘peace’ through total surrender to the ‘Will and Commandments of God’. It is the faith preached by all the prophets from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and lastly by Muhammad (peace be upon them all). “Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but He was true In Faith, and bowed His will to God (in Islam), and He joined not gods with God. Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, As are also This Messenger (Muhammad) and those who believe and God is the Protector of those who have Faith.”(Qur’an;3:67-68).” “Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the (deeds) works of Abraham”(John;8:39). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) aslo said; “I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”(John;5:30); “Thy will be done”.(Mathew; 6:10,26:42).“Not every one who says to me, Master, Master, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Islam: Surrender to will of GOD). On that day many will say to me, Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’.” (Methew;7:21-23). One word for ‘Doing the will of Father in heavens’ in Arabic is ‘Islam’.
Fundamental Principles of Islam:
Anyone wishing to embrace Islam has to accept its intellectual principles with total conviction right from the start. This means he will have developed the faith within himself. The principles he has to accept are outlined briefly as follows:
- This material world is not the ‘all’ and ‘end of all’ of existence and life in this world is only a part of the eternal life.
- Man existed even before he was born and will continue to exist after death; he did not create himself but had been created before he was conscious of his human existence.
- The inanimate objects around him couldn’t have created him, as he is a rational being and they are not; * everything in this universe has been created from nothingness by the one God, God the Almighty.
- God is the only one who grants life and causes death. It is He who created everything, and if He wishes. He will destroy and obliterate it.
- Almighty God does not resemble His creation in any way. He existed before this creation and He is eternal and has unlimited knowledge.
- He is completely just in a way that cannot be assessed in human terms; it is He who has laid down what we call the laws of nature.
- He has created everything according to a well-defined measure before all creation, thus all the phenomena of activity, inactivity, consistency and inconsistency that we can observe in both animate and inanimate beings have been clearly defined and distinct boundaries have been set.
- Man has been bestowed with the power of intellect to deal with whatever matters he is presented with and he has been given the power of reasoning with which he can make his own choice and will power to enable him to achieve what he wants.
- God has created an eternal life beyond this temporary life, where the doer of good will be rewarded with a life in paradise and the wrong doer will be punished and exist in hell. This God is One. No one else may be worshipped but Him; no one can take us nearer to Him to plead on our behalf without His permission. Thus we should worship God alone, in all sincerity and purity.
- All the material beings that we can see and feel which have been created by Him. He has also created unseen beings, some animate and others inanimate, which we cannot see. Among the unseen beings are the angels, who have been created for absolute good; and then there are the Satans, who have been created as dark and negative forces.
- Apart from these there is a third category of unseen beings, the jinn, who are divided into Satans and ‘good’ or ‘obedient’ jinn and from amongst human beings.
- God selects certain people to whom the Shari’ a (Divine Law) is revealed, so that they can guide humanity towards it, these people are the prophets. [i.e. The Law of Moses and Shari’a of Muhammad (pbut)]
- This divine law is contained in all the books revealed from the God. God takes us through progressive “steps” in each book until the final book, the Holy Qur’an. Books that preceded it were either distorted or got lost and forgotten. The Holy Qur’an, however, has remained intact. The last of these prophets is Muhammad bin Abdullah, an Arab of the Quraysh tribe. With him there was an end to all the previous divine messages and religions. There has been no other prophet since his time. The Holy Qur’an is the constitution of Islam. Whoever endorses the fact that it has been revealed by God and believes in it completely, is a Mu’min (believer). Iman (faith) in this sense can only be seen by God because human beings cannot penetrate into human hearts and know what is in them. Therefore it is essential, in order to be accepted in the fold of Islam, that a man declare his faith.
The Articles of Islamic Faith:
The root of affirmation of ‘Islamic Faith’ is based on the conviction upon unity of Allah (Tawheed-monotheism). In order to be a Muslim one has to believe in the Six Articles of Faith, which has been repeatedly mentioned in Qur’an at;24:62, 2:136,177,285, 4:136, 3:114, 4:78, 54:3, 17:99, 29:20, 64:67 and many other places.
The six ‘Articles of Faith’ and 5 pillars of Islam are adhered to by the majority Muslims. They are orally confessed by the Muslims (believers), which should also be deep rooted, in the heart:
- To affirm his/her belief in Allah (Single God).
- To believe in His messengers (from Adam to Noah, Abraham to Moses and Jesus Christ peace be upon them all, twenty five mentioned by name in Qur’an), and Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His Last Messenger.
- His books, Qur’an and all scriptures revealed to His Messengers which also include the original Torah, Psalms (Zabur) and original Gospel (Injeel) to Jesus Christ (pbuh).
- To believe in Al Ghaib [metaphysical creatures like the angels, Jinns, etc].
- Resurrection after death on the Day of Judgment, accounting and the scales, hell and paradise.
- The good and evil of destiny are in the power of Allah, the Most High.
The Day of Judgment is one of the cardinal beliefs in Islam. Allah says: “That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned; no injustice will there be that Day for Allah is Swift in taking account.”(Qur’an;40:16-17). The time of occurrence of Day of Judgment is not known to any one except God (Qur’an;31:34). Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever thought of the blessings that they will enjoy there (Qur’an;32:17). The Hell is the abode of punishment that Allah has prepared for the sinners and unbelievers: “(Qur’an;18:29).
The Islamic creed of confession (Shahada) is the verbal commitment and pledge to testify: “La ilaha Illallah , Muhammad-ur- Rasul-Allah” [None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah].
The ‘Five Pillars of Faith’ are the physical manifestation of combination of faith and practices, which are also the forms of worship (Qur’an;2:21, 43:64, 69:52); the first two; Shahada & Salah (prayer 5 times a day) are daily, next two Zakat (Charity, Alms) ) & Saum (fasting, during month of Ramadan) are annual and the last Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) is once in life if one can afford.
Some More Aspects of Islamic Faith and Beliefs:
Oneness of God: The God (Allah) is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of God which implies more than one God in one.
Oneness of mankind: People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness.
Freedom of Faith & Sanctity of Human Life: Islam grants protection and sanctity of human life and freedom of faith. Killing of innocent is like killing of humanity and saving a life is like saving humanity. Some verses from holy text related with conduct of warfare are misinterpreted by terrorists to justify their heinous crimes against humanity.
Innocence of Man at Birth: Muslim believes that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that they are to be charged for their mistakes. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However, the door of forgiveness through true repentance is always open.
State and Religion: Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all aspects of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics. As a matter of fact, state and religion are under the obedience of Allah through the teachings of Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as well as educational and political systems are also part of the teachings of Islam.
Jihad- Important Element of Faith (Ayman): Strenuous Efforts (Jihad) made sincerely for advancement of the cause of Allah, though not included among five pillars of Islam; but it is an important element of the Faith (ayman, Belief).(Qur’an;49:15). The aim of making Strenuous Efforts (Jihad) is three fold: The first and foremost is to; ‘Strive Against Selfish Desires’ (Nafs ammarah), to purify the heart, so that the faith (ayman) of Islam is deeply rooted in the heart, to become fully subservient to the commands of God and His Apostle Secondly, making strenuous efforts (Jihad) to convey the Last message of God (Islam) to the humanity(Dawah) called Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira)(Qur’an;25:52). Thirdly Jihad (warfare) is to be conducted by Islamic State to provide protection to Muslims and non Muslims against oppression. The specific word used exclusively for warfare is Qitaal (Qur’an;2:216-217) or Qatelu, wa-Qatalu (Qar’an;4 89-91). The warfare is to be conducted with in laid down Islamic principles. Killing of innocent people and creating mischief on earth (fisad fil ardh) for power and glory is not Jihad.
Muslims love the Prophet, his household; (Qur’an;33:6) and the Pious Companions of the Prophet (pbuh). It may not be appropriate for any believer to criticize them rather they deserve of beautiful praise. (Qur’an;7:42-43, 57:10, 9:100 & 59:10).
A Sinner Muslim: If a Muslim fails to perform some of his obligations and is remiss in practice or commits some such actions as are forbidden, yet he believes in the liability of all obligations and the impropriety of all unlawful deeds, he will continue to be a Muslim though he will be a sinner. [The concept of Takfeer i.e declaring a non-practicing Muslim, to be ‘apostate’ and liable to be killed; by some extremist groups, calling themselves as ‘True Muslims only’, is rejected by mainstream Islam.]
More over the Muslims believe in what is stated in the Holy Qur’an regarding the creation of the paradise, earth and man. His behaviour and conduct in everyday life should reflect such a belief. A Muslim will therefore accept and abide by the Holy Qur’an, the authenticity of which he has no doubt. it is a book of codes with which a Muslim can govern his daily life. He accepts what is declared to be lawful and refrains from what is forbidden. He acts on what it instructs, and abstains from what is not permitted. Other religions may be confined to their respective places of worship. Islam however is not confined to s the mosque. In fact its impact and influence pervades all places— the mosque, the home, the streets and government offices. It is a religion to be observed at times of war as well as peace. Islam is an unalienable factor in the life of every Muslim. He is guided by its teachings on every aspect of life. It informs him of what is lawful and what is forbidden.
All actions of a Muslim can be classified under one of the following five categories: Lawful, Recommended, Obligatory, Forbidden and Reprehensible. Whereas other religions may only include forms of worship and may not include politics and acquisition of knowledge that is not the case with Islam. Besides being a religion of worship, Islam also contains a set of civil and criminal codes of law; it includes international law, rules and regulations of administration, principles of ethics and the science of politics. You can open any book on Islamic Jurisprudence and you will find these topics discussed.
Worship in some religions may only take the form of prayer. But Islam includes every action done for the good of the people, with the intention of dedication to God in addition to prayer and fasting. If religion is thought to be separate from the realm of knowledge, then Islam can be described as a religion of learning – because the very first word of Divine Revelation was “Read” (Recite). It did not say, “Fight” nor did it say, “Accumulate money and possessions” or, “Renounce the world”. “Read” was the first word revealed in the Holy Qur’an, followed by a discourse on knowledge. The biggest gift God has granted to mankind is the gift of knowledge, knowledge of what man did not know. No other blessing can match it – be it in the form of wealth, physical strength or fame and glory.
It is necessary for every member of an Islamic society, with in his capability to acquire every area of knowledge needed. No other religion on earth except Islam considers the acquisition of knowledge as a religious duty. It therefore exhorts its followers to learn the sciences of chemistry, medicine, aviation, etc. Islam is also the religion of’ ‘riches’. God has described wealth as khair – ‘good’. But man’s attachment to wealth is described as follows: “And violent is he in his love of wealth.”(Qur’an;100:7). Muslims should therefore seek to be rich, but they should acquire their wealth lawfully, and this wealth should not become an obsession.
Every Muslim should be aware of another duty he should perform: to convey the Message of Islam to others, and to call others to the path of God with wisdom and beautiful preaching. He should not compel or force anyone to accept Islam: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”(Qur’an;2:256). He should present the salient features of Islam in a way that appeals to both the head and the heart. Muslims should be living examples of the glorious principles of Islam. They SHOULD NOT present a perverted and distorted picture of Islam.
It must be kept in mind that Islam is not afraid of debate on any issue and it does not avoid discussions on intellectual plane. Islam has arguments and proofs for all matters. It also demands proof and argument form its opponents: “Say, “Bring forth your argument if you are telling the truth.”(Qur’an;2:111); “Whoever invokes another god besides Allah – about whose divinity he has no proof thereof..”(Qur’an;23:117). It is impossible to give proof against the Oneness of God. If such Muslim missionaries take up the task, the whole world will accept the religion of God [by choice not coercion]. For God has revealed this religion and He will preserve it: “We have without doubt, sent down the message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).”(Qur’an;15:9). Islam will continue to exist, the future is for Islam (presently Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe and North America, women are leading the men).
What Islam Expects From The Muslims?
- To inhere in their best civilization and matchless culture in a manner that they surpass all the civilized nations of the world. They should be the most prosperous of all as far as the different branches of knowledge are concerned.
- Invite the humanity towards Islam, by conveying the message with wisdom, peacefully, in a logical and convincing way. They should argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.
- Not to kill the innocent people of any faith (including own self, through suicide) except by law, they don’t have to create mischief on earth by creating anarchy or disturbing the peaceful coexistence.
- Warfare against injustice and oppression and self defence is permissible, to be declared by the Islamic State but the rules lay down for its conduct by Shari’a (Islamic Law) be strictly adhered to. Those who surrender or do not fight or remain neutral are not to be disturbed. The prisoners are to protected and provided peace and security.
- To use the right of retaliation to any injustice or oppression with equality, not exceeding the limits forgiveness and patienceis however preferable.
- To fulfill all bilateral and international accords (like UN Charter) for peace and stability of humanity. To treat all members of society with equality fairness and justice.
- Non Muslims in the Islamic society enjoy complete protections and freedom to practice their faith. The places of worship of other religions are to be protected.
What is NOT demanded by Islam!
- Islam does not demand form a Muslim to give up the world altogether.
- Islam does not expect Muslims to be ignorant, lacking in knowledge of their faith and other branches of knowledge.
- Nor does it require one to make the mosque a permanent abode, never to leave it.
- Islam also does not insist that one should live in a cave and spend his whole life there —- Not at all.
(By: Brigadier Aftab Khan (r)- http://aftabkhan-net.page.tl
To be continued …………