3 Things You Should Know About Islam

Muslims are not out to kill you. Contrary to the media’s spin on certain verses out of the Qur’an the majority of the Muslims are not out to kill you, nor do they fill that it is their obligation to do so. The politics of fear seems to immobilize the thinking mechanism we use to survive; our brains. Think about this, according to Wikipedia, “there are between 1 billion and 1.8 billion Muslims in the world,” if their objective has been to kill infidels then the matter would be clear from the actions of that billion. Due to the diversity of mankind, there will be different interpretations of verses, commandments and injunctions. Am I saying that you are safe to come and go as you please in all Islamic countries? No, what I am saying is that there are degrees of devotion in all religions and even Muslims suffer from the over-zealousness of fanatics. This issue of fanaticism transcends Islam, and spills over into the security of global community. Muslims in Sudan are being murdered and terrorized by their fellow Muslim brothers.

Muslims believe in and justify suicide bombings. In Islam suicide is unforgivable, and it is reported that in the manner one kills himself, he will continue to do so in hell. The report comes from narrations from Muhammad, who addressed this issue over 1400 years ago. Suicide bombings are not justified, and this issue coincides with the global security concerns that we must all address. Osama Bin Laden doesn’t seem to care if he kills Muslim or non-Muslim, terror sends a message to both parties. The message being conform or die!

Muslims worship Muhammad just like Christians worship Jesus. It is easy to feel that way when all great religions are either named after their originators, or have aspects that address that originator in their titles. Some examples would be; Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism. To use the term Muhammadans would be offensive to Muslims, because it would imply that they worship Muhammad.This is contrary to what Islam stands upon, to worship anything but God is an unforgivable sin in Islam. To say, Oh Muhammad forgive me, would be unforgivable, and the crux of Muhammad’s message hinges on this belief. Muslims view
Muhammad as a prophet and respect him as such, as well as other prophets that proceeded him.

This is just a brief overview of some of the common misconceptions and myths that are associated with Muslims. Although there are more, and hopefully
I can expound on them in the future. I must say that the barriers of tradition obstructs our path to knowledge. Many Christians are afraid to pick up the Qur’an out of fear of divine retribution, yet they continue to speak from positions of authority, without knowledge. The only way we can begin to dialogue is by addressing the misconceptions and affirming our convictions as humans beings first.

“Islam”, Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia

Islam and Misogyny

When one thinks of the Middle East and women, perhaps the first thing to come to mind is a woman covered head-to-toe in black fabric, hidden away from the world as a prize jealously kept by her husband to her own. This stereotype is the reason one connects (or one is prone to connect) Islam with misogyny. Based on Muhammad’s life and the life of his wife Aisha, I would disagree; Islam was never meant to be misogynistic. While the cultural attitudes towards women at the time of Islam’s creation were not equivalent to today’s egalitarian standards, one cannot assume misogyny to be a tenant of Muhammad-era Islam.

Aisha, who was supposedly Muhammad’s favorite wife, presents a surprising example to a stereotypical western assumption. Aisha actually helped solidify many of the prophet’s teaching through the (Muhammad’s personal teachings), based on her first-hand accounts of his life and sayings; Islam would not exist as it does today without her help. Also, Aisha led a battle against one of the Caliphs that had taken power after Muhammad’s death by extolling her comrades from the back of her camel (the battle would later be called the Battle of the Camel).(1) Apparently women were not always considered simple property or people to be domineered; in Aisha’s case, she was an influential leader to the early Muslims.

In Muhammad’s establishing of Islam he did include some specifics about women, such as a woman’s inability to rule. This was not directly misogynistic; it was simply in line with the culture. In the sixth and seventh century men were leaders and women were not and it was accepted, with exceptions to cases such as Aisha’s. Men were seen to have the political and social abilities to rule, while women were expected to be the meeker and more reserved sex. This was not out of hate towards women, but was derived from gender roles of the time period. This does not, however, mean the social system designed by and for men was enjoyable for women.

In this way one cannot view gender inequality as misogyny, but as a product of the cultural Islamic context. While this clashes with a modern understanding of radical Islam, one cannot say that Islam is itself misogynistic, for the religion can be misunderstood and misrepresented even by its followers.