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Thread: Top 10 misconceptions about Islam.

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    Top 10 misconceptions about Islam.

    Note:This article was posted somewhere else by a friend of mine & I'm posting it here with his permission.

    MISCONCEPTION #1:
    Muslims are violent, terrorists and/or extremists.


    This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from
    the constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. 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, these acts are not
    used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed
    to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard
    the words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence.

    Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have any
    Islamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the name of
    Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the source
    of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what
    is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God'
    and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'.

    Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps
    this is because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West,
    whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and they make
    no division between secular and sacred in their lives. Like
    Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of
    religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly
    from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include
    prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops,
    trees and livestock.

    NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS.. The Quran says:
    "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not
    transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Quran 2:190)
    "If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is
    the One that heareth and knoweth all things." (Quran 8:61) War,
    therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous
    conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally
    means 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad.
    The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone
    wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner
    peace.



    MISCONCEPTION #2:
    Islam oppresses women.

    The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to
    stay home and forbidden to drive is all too common in most peoples
    thoughts. Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress
    women, this should not be seen as coming from Islam. Many of these
    countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah (Islamic law) and
    introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender
    equity.

    Islam on the other hand gives men and women different roles and equity
    between the two is laid down in the Quran and the example of the
    Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam sees 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 marriage gift is given by
    the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her
    own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women
    are expected to dress in a way that is modest and dignified. 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 and forcing them against their
    will for anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal
    agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions.
    Marriage customs thus 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: her
    parents simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.



    MISCONCEPTION #3:
    Muslims worship a different God.

    Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah for Muslims is the
    greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, it is an Arabic word
    of rich meaning, denoting the one and only God and ascribing no
    partners to Him. It is exactly the same word which the Jews, in
    Hebrew, use for God (eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in
    Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism,
    Christianity, and Islam; Allah is the same God worshiped by Muslims,
    Christians and Jews. Muslims believe that Allah's sovereignty is to
    be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and
    commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were
    sent at various times and in many places throughout history.
    However, it should be noted that God in Islam is One and Only. He,
    the Exalted, does not get tired, does not have a son ie Jesus or
    have associates, nor does He have human-like attributions as found in
    other faiths.


    MISCONCEPTION #4:
    Islam was spread by the sword and intolerant of other faiths.


    Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab
    horseman carrying a sword in one hand and the Quran in the other
    conquering and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct
    portrayal of history. Islam has always given respect and freedom of
    religion to all faiths. The Quran says: "God forbids you not, with
    regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out
    of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God
    loveth those who are just. 60:8)

    Freedom of religion is laid down in the Quran itself: "There is no
    compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right
    direction is distinctly clear from error". (2:256) Christian
    missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question
    of the spread of Islam: ".. of any organized attempt to force the
    acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim population, or of any
    systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion,
    we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of
    action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as
    Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made
    Protestanism ..."

    It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of
    minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have
    flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many
    examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph
    Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of
    worship to all religious communities in the city. Proclaiming to the
    inhabitants that their lives, and property were safe, and that their
    places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the
    Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the
    holy places. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up
    their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the
    minorities themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an
    Islamic state are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or
    not.

    Racism is not a part of Islam, the Quran speaks only of human equality
    and how all peoples are equal in the sight of God. "O mankind! We
    created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into
    nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly,
    the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in
    piety. God is All-Knowing, All- Aware. (49:13)



    MISCONCEPTION #5:
    All Muslims are Arabs


    The Muslim population of the world is around 1.2 billion. 1 out of 5
    people in the world is a Muslim. They are a vast range of races,
    nationalities, and cultures from around the globe--from the
    Phillipines to Nigeria--they are united by their common Islamic faith.
    Only about 18% live in the Arab world and the largest Muslim
    community is in Indonesia. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. 30%
    of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa,
    17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet
    Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan make up 10% of the
    non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim minorities in almost
    every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are most
    numerous in Russia and its newly independent states, India and
    central Africa. There are about 6 million Muslims in the United
    States



    MISCONCEPTION #6:
    The Nation of Islam is a Muslim group.


    Islam and the so called "Nation of Islam'" are two different
    religions. NOI is more of a political organization since its members
    are not limited to a single faith. Muslims consider this group to be
    just one of many cults using the name of Islam for their own gain.
    The only thing common between them is the jargon, the language used
    by both. "The Nation of Islam" is a misnomer; this religion should be
    called Farrakhanism, after the name of its propogator, Louis Farrakhan.

    Islam and Farakhanism differ in many fundamental ways. For example,
    Farakhan followers believe in racism and that the 'black man' was the
    original man and therefore superior, while in Islam there is no
    racism and everyone is considered equal in the sight of God, the only
    difference being in one's piety. There are many other theological
    examples that show the 'Nation's teachings have little to do with
    true Islam. There are many groups in America who claim to represent
    Islam and call their adherents Muslims.

    Any serious student of Islam has a duty to investigate and find the
    true Islam. The only two authentic sources which bind every Muslim
    are 1. the Quran and 2. authentic or sound Hadith. Any teachings under
    the label of "Islam" which contradict or at variance with the direct
    understanding of fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam form the
    Quran and authentic Hadith should be rejected and such a religion
    should be considered a Pseudo-Islamic Cult. In America there are many
    pseudo-Islamic cults, Farrakhanism being one of them. An honest
    attitude on the part of such cults should be not to call themselves
    Muslims and their religion Islam. such an example of honesty is
    Bahaism which is an off-shoot of Islam but Bahais do not call
    themselves Muslims nor their religion, Islam. In fact Bahaism is not
    Islam just as Farrakhanism is not Islam.



    MISCONCEPTION #7:
    All Muslim men marry four wives.


    The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and
    so accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances
    may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted,
    according to the Quran, only on condition that the husband is
    scrupulously fair. No woman can be forced into this kind of marriage
    if they do not wish it, and they also have the right to exclude it in
    their marriage contract.

    Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted.
    Images of "sheikhs with harems" are not consistent with Islam, as a
    man is only allowed at most four wives only if he can fulfill the
    stringent conditions of treating each fairly and providing each with
    separate housing etc. Permission to practice polygamy is not
    associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is rather
    associated with compassion toward widows and orphans. It was the
    Quran that limited and put conditions on the practice of polygamy
    among the Arabs, who had as many as ten or more wives and considered
    them "property".

    It is both honest and accurate to say that it is Islam that regulated
    this practice, limited it, made it more humane, and instituted equal
    rights and status for all wives. What the Qur'anic decrees amount to,
    taken together is discouragement of polygamy unless necessity for it
    exists. It is also evident that the general rule in Islam is monogamy
    and not polygamy. It is a very tiny percentage of Muslims that
    practice it over the world. However, permission to practice limited
    polygamy is only consistent with Islam's realistic view of the nature
    of man and woman and of various social needs, problems and cultural
    variations.

    The question is, however far more than the inherent flexibility of
    Islam; it also is the frank and straightforward approach of Islam in
    dealing with practical problems. Rather than requiring hypocritical
    and superficial compliance, Islam delves deeper into the problems of
    individuals and societies, and provides for legitimate and clean
    solutions which are far more beneficial than would be the case if they
    were ignored. There is no doubt that the second wife legally married
    and treated kindly is better off than a mistress without any legal
    rights or expermanence.



    MISCONCEPTION #8:
    Muslims are a barbaric, backward people.


    Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the
    simplicity of its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God
    worthy of worship. It also repeatedly instructs man to use his
    powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great
    civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the
    Prophet (pbuh), 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim
    man and woman'.

    The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with
    old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics,
    astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history.
    Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also
    the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics),
    were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated
    instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of
    discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and
    good navigational maps.



    MISCONCEPTION #9:
    Muhammad was the founder of Islam and Muslims worship him.


    Muhammad(pbuh) was born in Mecca in the year 570. Since his father
    died before his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was
    raised by his uncle from the respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew
    up, he became known for his truthfulness, generosity and sincerity, so
    that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in disputes.
    The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (pbuh)
    was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence
    of his society.

    It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira
    near Mecca. At the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat,
    Muhammad(pbuh) received his first revelation from God through the
    Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which continued for 23 years is
    known as the Quran. As soon as he began to recite the words he heard
    from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to him,
    he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution,
    which grew so fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to
    emigrate.

    This event, the Hijra 'migration', in which they left Mecca for the
    city of Medina, marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. After
    several years, the Prophet and his followers were able to return to
    Mecca, where they forgave their enemies and established Islam
    definitively. Before the Prophet saw dies at the age of 63, the
    greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death
    Islam had spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China. He
    died with less than 5 possessions to his name.

    While Muhammad (pbuh) was chosen to deliver the message, he is not
    considered the "founder" of Islam, since Muslims consider Islam to be
    the same divine guidance sent to all peoples before. Muslims believe
    all the prophets from Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus etc. were all sent
    with divine guidance for their peoples. Every prophet was sent to his
    own people, but Muhammad(pbuh) was sent to all of mankind. Muhammad
    is the last and final messenger sent to deliver the message of Islam.
    Muslims revere and honor him (pbuh) for all he went through and his
    dedication, but they do not worship him. "O Prophet, verily We have
    sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and
    as one who invites unto God by His leave and as an illuminating
    lamp."(33:45-6)



    MISCONCEPTION #10:
    Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets.


    Muslims respect and revere Jesus, upon him be peace, and await his
    Second Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's
    messengers to mankind. A Muslim never refers to him simply as
    'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace' (abbreviated
    as (u) here). The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the
    Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in
    all creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:

    "Behold!" the Angel said, "God has chosen you, and purified you, and
    chosen you above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you
    good news of a word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus
    son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those
    brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and
    in maturity, and shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord!
    How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "Even
    so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it,
    "Be!" and it is" (Quran 3:42-47)

    Jesus (u) was born miraculously through the same power, which had
    brought Adam (u) into being without a father: "Truly, the likeness of
    Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust,
    and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was." (3:59) During his prophetic
    mission Jesus (u) performed many miracles. The Quran tells us that he
    said: " I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you
    out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breath into it
    and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the
    lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave." (3:49) Neither Muhammad
    (pbuh) not Jesus (u) came to change the basic doctrine of the brief in
    One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it.

    In the Quran Jesus (u) is reported as saying that he came: "To attest
    the law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what
    was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so
    fear God and obey Me. (3:50) The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
    "Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner,
    that Muhammad (pbuh) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and
    messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating
    from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by
    God into Heaven. "(Hadith related by Bukhari).

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    I blame beards for all the misconceptions.
    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
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    cpr
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    None of them were a misconception to someone like myself, and probably 75% of the people on here (who arnt Muslim), as most on here are educated enough to A) find out about Islam and B) not judge by the violent few

    Its those close minded people out there that need telling. of both Christian and Islamic extraction. Because if theres 100 people who falsly believe these misconceptions, theres 1 who lives upto them which encourages such views. Its a sad fact that a minority of people are so ignorant on either side.
    "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher." - Ambrose Bierce
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    Hall of Fame Member steds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BhupinderSingh View Post
    Muslims are a backward people.
    AWTA. Don't eat pork, you know.


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    cpr
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    And i agree with Matteh. I'm off to have a shave before i go out in public now, because with my beard and my beat up old car, i wouldnt blame anyone for thinking i was a driving bomb. Thank christ i dont have the Irish accent half my family have

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    Quote Originally Posted by steds View Post
    AWTA. Don't eat pork, you know.
    pfft, never having a muslim girlfriend if i dont get certain 'favours'

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    Wasn't the zero a Hindu concept?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BhupinderSingh View Post
    Muslims are a barbaric, backward people.
    That reminded me of an excerpt from Mock the Week for some reason.

    "I am opposed to nuclear weapons, and would like to see decreasing numbers."
    "Five... four... three..."

    Pointless I know but had to be posted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BhupinderSingh View Post
    The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with
    old, brought about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics,
    astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature, and history.
    Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also
    the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics),
    were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated
    instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of
    discovery were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and
    good navigational maps.
    I dont understand how and why any religion could and should take credit for individual inventions/discoveries ? You could say that all those were achieved/discovered/invented by people who were muslims but to say that that It was Islam that invented/discovered all that is misleading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
    pfft, never having a muslim girlfriend if i dont get certain 'favours'
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpr View Post
    pfft, never having a muslim girlfriend if i dont get certain 'favours'
    That's Jewish women out too as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanz View Post
    I dont understand how and why any religion could and should take credit for individual inventions/discoveries ? You could say that all those were achieved/discovered/invented by people who were muslims but to say that that It was Islam that invented/discovered all that is misleading.
    Islam has not been given any credit but all what has been tried to say is that Islam does not ask to remain uneducated(as majority population of muslims especially in arab countries are) & I I've myself heard many people saying that its Islam which says don't seek knowledge & remain uneducated.

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    Thread to last 80 replies before closing at best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Thread to last 80 replies before closing at best.
    50.

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    First one this year, but it's actually not quite the 8th over here yet. Another hour.

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