Despite its huge following around the world and the growing Muslim communities in the United States, the ways of Islam is unknown to most Americans. Because of the prevalence of Judeo Christianity most Americans know little or nothing about Islam and have many misconceptions about Muslim beliefs and rituals. Islamic concepts of war, human rights and especially the rights of women have been misinterpreted and misrepresented to such an extent that Muslims look very unsophisticated to non-Muslims. Prior to 9/11, Islam was more of a curiosity than a concern; now however, when lives are at stake Muslims should reach out to people and try to portray the real picture of Islam.
Post 9/11 Islam has been hijacked by a fringe group of extremists and a lot of Non-Muslim people think of Islam as being a barbaric and extremely harsh religion. This is an absolute fallacy. I feel it is the responsibility of American Muslims to rectify this.
I doubt that the Non-Muslim people commenting on Islam know many true facts about the religion, but they are not to be blamed for their ignorance. Most of the information these people get is from the media, and the post nine eleven media has been concentrating almost exclusively on the terrorist activities of some so called Muslims. It is unfortunate that Islam is being evaluated on the actions of a few outlaw Muslims. These terrorists have portrayed a very evil and false picture of Islam which makes others wary of the religion and its followers. This is a time when every Muslim has to make an effort to save the religion from all the negative publicity.
Most people in the West think of the Islamic societies as somewhat backward in
their beliefs. Commonly they believe that this is due to the oppressive religious beliefs of Islam. They also believe that Islamic society is governed inhumanely in comparison to the progressive western world. However the measurement of cultural differences between the West and Islam is more complex than what most Americans believe. Islam is not considered just a religion, and most certainly it is not just a political movement. It is, rather, a civilization and a way of life that varies from one Muslim country to another. Islam, like virtually all religions, is a religion of peace. It is a religion which seeks to give a meaningful purpose to our life on this earth. It seeks to guide us in fulfilling that purpose by creating harmony between ourselves, our Creator and other fellow human beings (Rizvi).
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, a famous Islamic scholar, does a wonderful job of telling us
what the basic teachings of Islam are. If we compare what the 9/11 extremists did with what these teachings say, it is easy to see that these terrorists are not followers of any religion, and especially not Islam. Whatever they do is for their own benefit, and it is not a Holy war as they say. They are not just killing innocent people, who are followers of other religions, but also people who are Muslims. We could just...