Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MISCONCEPTION about ISLAM 1: Muslims are violent, terrorists and/or extremists.

This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from the constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. When a gunman attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA guerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are notused to stereotype an entire faith.

Never are these acts attributedto the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heardthe words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence. Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have anyIslamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the sourceof Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from whatis portrayed in the media.

Islam literally means 'submission to God'and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'. Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West,whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and they make no division between secular and sacred in their lives.

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense ofreligion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forciblyfrom their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops,trees and livestock. NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS.

The Quran says: "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Quran 2:190)"If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He isthe One that heareth and knoweth all things." (Quran 8:61)

War,therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorousconditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literallymeans 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyonewages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining innerpeace.


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