Many misconceptions exist in the West (representing Christianity) about Islam and Muslims, which were deliberately created by their clergy and medieval rulers to disguise the true message of Islam to justify their hostility towards Islam. “Surely the only (true) religion in the sight of God is (man’s) self surrender unto Him (Islam): Those who (formerly) received the Scripture differed only after knowledge came unto them, through transgression among themselves. They should know that God is swift in calling to account those who deny His revelations.”(Qur’an;3:19).
Some of the popular misconceptions and questions about Islam are:
  1. Is Islam violent or peaceful?
  2. What about Jihad What do Muslims say about other religions?
  3. What do Muslims say about Jesus?
  4. All this and more in a one-discussion with Dr. Jamal Badawi and Ahmed Bedier of CAIR.

W. Montgomery Watt, a Western scholar observed : ‘Among the world’s major religions it is certainly Islam that the West has the most difficulty in approaching objectively. The reason for this are rooted in past history. Because of the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries many people in the West wanted the religion of Islam to be better known. But the image they portrayed of Islam can quite accurately be qualified as ‘distorted’. Western opinion about Islam and Muslims was based for centuries on the distorted image’. The major misconceptions created in the minds of westerners against Islam and Muslims may  be summed up as:

(1) The God of Islam is different to the God of Jews and Christians

(2) He is a ruthless God, urging Muslims to kill any one not believing in their faith

(3) Muslims are pagans who worship a black cubical structure at Makkah

(4) The Prophet of Islam was a warrior and conqueror who did not believe in the human rights and preached violence

(5) Islam was spread with the sword

(6) The scripture of Islam is based on the Old and New Testaments

(7) The women are treated as subhuman by the Muslims; polygamy and veil are to exploit the women, they have no human rights; (8) The Islamic Law (Shari’a) is very harsh, is based on strict punishment without meeting the requirements of justice; it awards flogging,  cutting of hand and stoning to death, all primitive laws of ancient times

(9) Muslims hate the Western values, considering them as thereat, hence they have resorted to terrorism as a means to undermine and destroy Western values so that they can enforce their values on the West.

Causes of Growth of Delusions:

The events which contributed towards growth of these delusions are numerous, however most prominent are:

(1) The fall of territories of Christendom around Arabia

(2) The Crusaders

(3) The fall of remnants of Byzantine Empire at the hand of Muslims

(4) The conquest of Spain and Muslim rule for eight centuries

(5) The westward expansion of Ottoman Empire

(6) The besiege of Vienna twice

(7) Colonization of most of Muslim world by the Western powers and resistance by Muslims to gain independence

(8) The resurgence of Islam, specially the militancy against Western negative attitude, unjust creation and support of Israel, oppression of Muslims at Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Muslims with in their societies and other countries

(9) To control the large natural resources specially oil, gas and strategically important centers of population, zones and trade routes held by Muslims, a bogy has to be created to subdue them

(10) The materialism has eroded Western values, the Islamic values and culture based on the eternal truth is attracting the Westerns in great numbers, hence Islam is perceived as a threat.

(11) After demise of communism with the help of Muslims, Western gigantic military industrial complex need an enemy and market for their military hardware, so a new battle ground have been created against Muslims. The old spirit of snobbery and prejudice, the hatred of Islam, displays it self in writings, in electronic and print media attacks,  internet chat rooms, private conversations and in public speeches. The spirit of persecution is not dead in Christianity, after lying dormant for some time it is out fully ablaze.

The Reality:

Muslims Worship Same One Supreme God and Believe in All Biblical Messengers of  God:

It is contemplated that a careful in-depth study may help in removing most of the ideological misunderstandings and misconceptions: It is well known fact that the God of Muslims is the same God, the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus , Jews , Christians, the God of all the people  and the universe (Qura’n;112:1, Deuteronomy;6:4, Isaiah;43:11, 45:5, 46:9, Mark;12:29). Muslims believe in all these messengers, prophets and the scriptures revealed to them: “Do not argue with the People of the Book except in good taste – except with those who are wicked among them – and say: “We believe in that which is sent down to us and that which is sent down to you; Our God and your God is the same One God, and unto Him we surrender.”(Qur’an;29:46). Due to common root of faith, that is the faith of Abraham, there are obvious commonalities in the revealed scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Bible and Qur’an) as their source is the same God. The perversion of their scriptures was condemned by God:” And , behold , there are indeed some among them who distort the Scripture with their tongues, so as to make you think that (what they say) is from Scripture, the while it is not from the Scripture; and who say,” This is form God,” the while its not from God: and thus do they tell a lie about God, being ell aware(that it is a lie) (Qur’an;3:78).“O People of the Book! Why do you confound the truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth?”(Qur’an;3:71).

The Christian and Jewish scholars changed the words of God in contravention to the commandment of God, in the same Bible: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I (God) command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy; 4:2). “It is not possible for a man whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophethood, that he would say to the people: “Worship me instead of Allah.” On the contrary he would say: “Be devoted worshippers of your God in accordance with the Holy Book you have been teaching and reading.” He would never ask you to take angels and prophets as your lords. Would he ask you to become unbelievers after you have become Muslims (believers)?” (Qur’an;3:79-80). While the Old and New Testaments are not in its original form,  Qur’an the  last scripture is available in its original form even today because Allah has Himself taken responsibility to guard it against corruption: “Surely We have revealed the reminder (Qur’an) and We will most certainly guard it (from corruption).”(Qur’an;15:9).. The Islamic law is based on Qur’an and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), some punishment of Law of Moses have been retained while others were relaxed, they provide the best form of justice where ever put in to practice. Muslims worship only One God, they face towards Qibla (the direction) the Ka’bah for unity. Islam accords much batter position to women than mentioned in Bible. The women are highly respected in Islam while they have been made a  show piece in the West on the name of equality and freedom.

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