Have you ever wondered why a nun can be covered from head to toe and she’s respected for devoting herself to God, but when a Muslim woman covers, she’s viewed as “oppressed”? Or why a Jew can grow a beard and he’s just practising his faith, and when a Muslim does that, he’s an “extremist”?
People in the ‘west’ seem to have many misconceptions about Muslims and Islam. Many believe that the western world is advanced, enlightened and liberated, while Islam is just the opposite: primitive, ignorant and oppressed. One reason for this belief is that the media has time and again portrayed the Muslims in a way contrary to Islamic teachings. The key to understanding Islam and Muslims is to resist stereotypes and examine each situation according to Islamic teachings, and NOT some Muslims’ actions.
So many attempts have been made to portray Islam as a religion that is both strange and foreign to people’s normal instincts and values. In deciding upon what to make of Islam, remember this:
- Who stands to gain from perpetuating such misconceptions and untruths?
- Have you researched about Islam yourself, as opposed to what you have heard from others and the media?
- Would millions of people all over the world embrace Islam if it was a harsh and inhumane way of life?
“Allah has promised those who believe and do good deeds that for them there is forgiveness and a mighty reward.” (Qur’an 5:9)