This article and the next will be dedicated to a discussion of the top ten misconceptions about Islam, which are shared by many people around the world. These misconceptions may be attributed to a variety of causes, including inappropriate media hype, lack of reliable information sources, and lack of desire to pursue and understand the truth.
Muslims are violent terrorists and/or extremists.
Perhaps currently, this would be the biggest misconception about Islam. Inappropriate media hype and bad journalism, based on subjective stereotypes, are the root cause. 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, one must be careful not to use these random acts of violence to stereotype an entire belief system. The media often suggest the acts are a result of the perpetrators religious beliefs; however, this is seldom true. It has become commonplace for media outlets to pair the description of an Islamic or Muslim fundamentalist with violent acts, creating a false perception that all Muslims or followers of the Islamic faith are violent.
Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own perverse purposes. It is important for readers and those who consume media reports to consider the information source and recognize that Islamic teachings promote peace, contrary to what many media reports may imply. Islam literally means ‘submission to God’ and, ironically, given the subjective, stereotypical media hype, is derived from a root word meaning ‘peace’.
While it is true that to the ignorant Islamic teachings may seem exotic or extreme to those unfamiliar with its basic tenets who are rooted in the modern world; it does, in fact, promote peace and tolerance. In contrast with Islam, Christianity and Judaism generally do not have the same prominence in the day-to-day activities of those living in the West. Islam is embraced as a ‘way of life’ for Muslims and there is no division between the secular and the sacred in their lives. Similar to Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or for those who have been forcibly expelled from their homes. That said, it prescribes strict rules of combat, which prohibits the harming of civilians and destruction of crops, property, trees and livestock.
Islam does not permit the killing of innocent people.
The Quran says:
“Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.”
“If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that hears and knows all things.”
War, therefore, is regarded as a last resort, and is subject to rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law.
The term ‘jihad’ literally means ‘struggle’. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. External combat and the inner struggle of the soul, which everyone wages against egotistic desires as they seek inner peace.
In terms of war ethics, there is historical evidence that suggests treated those they defeated humanely. In La Civilization Arabe, French historian and sociologist Gustav Le Bon affirmed that the world had never known a conqueror more merciful than Muslims.
Islam oppresses women.
Many of these countries do not follow Shari’ah (Islamic law) and have introduced their own cultural interpretation of gender equity.
Islam, on the other hand, acknowledges that men and women have distinct roles and equity between the two is laid down in the Quran and through the actions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Islam regards a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A Muslim groom offers a marriage gift to his bride for her own personal use and she keeps her original family name rather than taking her husband’s. Both men and women are expected to dress in a modest and dignified manner. The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said:
“The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife.”
Violence of any kind towards women is not tolerated in Islam, and Muslims are forbidden to force a woman to do something against her will. In Islam, marriage is viewed as a legal agreement that enables either partner to define conditions. Marriage customs vary widely from country to country. Divorce is not common, although it is acceptable as a last resort. According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be forced to marry against her will; however, her parents may suggest young men they deem suitable as suitors.
Muslims worship a different God…..
….read the full article at islamgate.org