Islam Essay

1478 words - 6 pages

the Islamic Congress's president, Mohamed Elmasry. Mr. Elmasry said there are bad Muslims just as there are bad Christians and Jews. "We treat them as such and so should you. But Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims have a religious duty to be tolerant of other faiths and other ideologies.'' Mr. Elmasry said journalists need to differentiate between the peaceful teachings of Islam and the claims of some Muslim extremists that their actions are justified by their interpretations of Islam. He likened the situation of Canadian Muslims today to that of Canadian Jews 50 years ago. "Jewish children were being (wrongly) called Christ-killers just as Muslim children are called terrorists today.'' In their letter to the editor in the April 27 issue of the College Hill Independent, Jumana Musa and Shadi Nahvi made some excellent points. They rightly asserted that the Western press tends to portray Arabs and Muslims according to stereotypes and these myths persist partly due to Western popular ignorance about Arabs and Muslims. Since the Muslims students at Brown condemned the bombing of a Tel Aviv bus last year, I am learning to separate the handful of Muslim and Arab extremists who commit terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish civilians from the millions of Muslim believers who do not participate in this violence and sometimes express opposition to it. Since I began interacting with Muslims students through the kosher/hallal meal plan this year, I am changing my perceptions of Muslims and seeing them as people instead of abstractions. I think that many, many people in the United States and in western countries, in Europe, are afraid of a monster called Islam. And as the honorable Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said, it is an insult to consider the whole of Muslims, to take them into one side, and make them extremists. Really it is not correct. It is a little bit insulting. What is the definition of extremism? We can see in all of history: even when the first settlers came to the United States they were from different countries; Spain, England, France, European Countries. They were fighting on this land and fighting with the Indians. Do we call this extremism? A fight for a better living, which you understand you are doing not for a religious motive, is not extremism. Extremism in Islam, or in religion, is when you use religion to label intolerance, to turn from religion and take ideas that you can extract for yourself, or deduce for yourself, and use to make a militant movement and disturb the peace in your country or around the world. That is called "extremism," and "Islamic Extremism." But a movement for better living, that is not extremism. These people nowadays are developing two ways of understanding the situation of Islam. From one side they think that they have to reform it; it is a duty on them, they have been brainwashed to think that they have to cleanse the world of devils and demons and of countries that...

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