Hello. What I’m trying to do isn’t simple. Some may think I’m riding the fence. But I like to call it being rational and fair. Look at this picture.
If this is automatically what you think of when you hear the words “Islam”, “Koran” or “Muslim” I can tell you that is neither rational or fair.
So, I’m going to try and enlighten you, The Reader on how one should look at things involving Islam. In a nutshell, and I know it’s not always prudent, but a case-by-case basis is a good start. We’ve all known the dangers in stereotyping and throwing all people from a certain walk of life in a box. For example, I’m an American. I’m black [more like caramel-brown, but I’m what people call “black” or “African-American]. I’m a veteran. Let’s very quickly go over what some may look at me like if all they had to go on was Media Propaganda and rumors.
From what I gather from my travels is, as an American I’m supposed to be a Christian, eat nothing but burgers, watch Nascar and Football religiously, drink beer and drive a big truck.
Black / African American:
In America and abroad as a black man, I’ve learned that I love wearing gaudy jewelry, I only listen to rap music, I sag my pants, I’m a deadbeat dad, my vehicle most likely has huge rims on it, I’m a thug, do drugs and eat soul food.
And of course, as a United States Armed Forces Veteran, I of course MUST have PTSD, have no transferable skills, aren’t very bright, am disrespectful, had a part in Abu Graihb and am a battle-hardened soldier.
Here, I’m going to show how sometimes stereotypes can hit head-on, and sometimes they can miss by a mile. I believe in GOD and Jesus Christ, but I can’t claim that I’m a Christian. I haven’t in a long time. I don’t drink alcohol, never have in my life. I also don’t watch televised sports. I’ve watched ONE entire football game in my entire life. The Superbowl in 2008 only because the woman I was seeing wanted to watch it. I don’t have a huge lifted pick up truck… or a pick up truck at all. I don’t watch wrestling as an adult but… I did love The Ultimate Warrior as a kid, Richard Petty, but don’t watch NASCAR, and if you don’t like burgers, I’m really sorry… but I do. So, 1 out of 6. Doing pretty bad so far as an American.
I love hiphop. But I love Jazz and alternative even more, plus I listen to a ton of Soul, R&B and gospel music. Plus I’m getting into Hindi and Bossanova. I do not sag my pants. Not on purpose anyway. And I think it’s a stupid and kinda gay trend. I’m not a thug, never been in a gang, and never will be. It’s not in my personality. I’m not a deadbeat dad, but I do love me some soul food. But… I pretty much love food period. And yea… not only do I have big wheels on my truck, THAT IS MY TRUCK in the picture. Sue me. 2 out of 5.
And as far as my veteran stereotypes… o out of 5.
But lets get back on topic; Muslims.
What are their stereotypes? Where did these stereotypes come from? Are they all merited? Is one foolish for thinking the way they do about them? Let’s find out. I think people on both sides of the argument will be surprised how right and wrong they both are. I want to help people get along. To understand them, lets take a quick look at their doctrine, their manual, their book of instructions and practices… The Qu’ran.
If you ask any real Muslim, they will tell you “Islam is perfect, the people mess it up.” Or something like that. They believe Islam is perfect because of the words in their glorious Koran. On top of that, most of their practices, wise sayings and affirmations come from their Prophet Mohammed [PBUH]. Mohammed ibn Abdullah is believed to have been sent by Allah as a messenger to teach the right way of life. He is the most respected historical figure in the Islamic faith.
If one were to study the teachings and reports of The Prophet Mohammed [The Hadith], they’d be buried under years of insightful wisdom and direction. However, that person would also be privy to many things one would consider unsavory. Depending on whom you’re talking to, not only was The Prophet a murderer, but also a pedophile, and a womanizer.
After The Prophet died, what we know now as the main two sects of Islam; Shia and Sunni were formed. This happened because a cousin of The Prophet and a near companion and advisor of his had a disagreement on who and what should follow the death of the religions most coveted Prophet. Instead of coming to an agreement, Shia and Sunni were formed and they’ve had a very hard time getting along ever since.
As of late, some Muslims will be found blaming The West [mostly America] for keeping up the feuding between Muslims, whether they be Sunni, Shia, Wahhabi, etc. Whatever the cause, it’s undeniable that there is some unrest in the world of Islam.
After knowing many Muslims myself, I know for certain that they are not all out to conquer the world. Although, if we go back to the Koran, we will learn that much like Christianity, one of the main charges of a Muslim is to bring others to Islam. Some may take this charge more serious than others, and there is a reason why. Many reasons, actually.
- Sura 61:9 He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islamic monotheism) to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad) hate (it). (Hilali and Khan, The Noble Qur’an, Riyadh: Darussalam, 1996)
- is a severe warning to the Christians who claim to be the followers of Isa (Jesus) and he will break the Cross and kill the pigs, and he will abolish the Jizya (tax); and all mankind will be required to embrace Islam with no alternative. (Bukhari’s Hadith)
- The purpose of the Holy Prophet’s appointment as a Prophet was not merely to preach this Religion, but to make it prevail over all others. In other words, he did not bring this Religion so that it might survive in a limited compartment of life which is allowed it by the dominant religion, while the rest of the spheres of life, by and large, should remain under the relentless control of some false religion. But he had brought it so that it should be the dominant Religion of life and any other religion should survive, if at all it survives, only within the limits in which it allows it to survive. (Sura 48:28 as explained by Sayyid Abdul A’la Maududi in his commentary ‘the meaning of the Qu’ran’)
- 9:29 Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Hilali and Khan)
Allow me to say this. There are a few things all people know about Muslims even if they know nothing else.
- They’re not supposed to eat pork
- They are allowed to have more than one wife
- They wear things over their heads
- They can’t drink alcohol
- They pray a lot.
These same people who know these few things and nothing else also may know that there are a LARGE number of Muslims who break these rules routinely. My question is… Have you EVER met a “CHRISTIAN”? There are several things they’re not supposed to do as well… but do them ALL THE TIME. But we have a magnifying glass on Muslims. Why? Is it because they take their religion more seriously than anyone else? Is it the seriousness in which they want everyone else to take in their religion? I don’t know. But I do know, that just like with any other religion, doctrine, or practice:
- people will pick and choose what they want to follow and what they want to ignore.
- people will interpret things however they see fit to convenience themselves
So while not every Muslim may not be out there trying to conquer the world by any means necessary, there are some who are! What side will the good Muslims choose when it comes down to “The Bad Muslims” and everyone else? I believe that is what is worrying all these people.
All of us hateful Christians. All of us Hate-mongering Athiests. All of us… who have a major case of “Islamaphobia”. I’m sympathetic to “The Good Muslims” because so many are out there making a bad name for the rest. Just like there are a lot of Americans, black people and Veterans giving ME a bad name. What can I do? What can I do to tell everyone that perhaps, we all should just sit down and figure out a way to understand the other better. If everyone with “Islamaphobia” and “The Good Muslims” are all against the same people [the bad ‘muslims’] why can’t we get along? Everyone is pointing their fingers at someone, but no one is putting forth any solutions.
Stay tuned for How I Feel About : Islamaphobia Pt. 2
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Jihad silhouette: http://www.euphrates.org
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