The Image Of Islam
Reader comment on item: How the West Could Lose
Submitted by Avenger (United Kingdom), Jan 9, 2007 at 23:24
image — n. 1 representation of an object, e.g. a statue. 2 reputation or persona of a person, company, etc. 3 appearance as seen in a mirror or through a lens. 4 mental picture or idea. 5 simile or metaphor [Latin imago imagin-]
You all pose important questions, which relates to the the image of Islam. It is the response to this image that is the primary cause of the xenophobia and islamaphobia gripping the West.
How Islam is represented and perceived is a complex issue; an issue which needs to be looked at in the whole context. Islam in the form which it was delivered from Allah through to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was perfected. The Holy Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is the final Prophet and accordingly his position is that of the Seal of the Prophets. The Qu'ran as the final Testament completes the covenant between God and Mankind; the same covenant agreed upon with Abraham and the same message as conveyed by all the Messengers of God.
Islam is the culmination of some 7,000 years of Prophethood. It is the perfection of Allah's religion for mankind.
If there is one thing we have learnt, that all the Peoples of the Book agree upon, it is the treatment that the Holy Prophets (pbut) received throughout their lifetimes. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, Jesus (pbuh) clearly outlines the traits of the believers and states
"...for thus did they persecute the prophets who were before you..." [5:14]
We know that from the earliest examples, the true believers have been persecuted and oppressed - the greater the degree of belief (Iman) the greater the proportionate persecution. From the times of Cain and Abel, through Abraham, Moses, Jesus to Mohammed (peace be upon them all). Since the earliest of times, Islam and the Muslims have been misrepresented, denigrated and persecuted.
The Crusades are a perfect example of the misrepresentation of Islam in the West and is a complete allegory for the situation we find ourselves in today. Fearful of the rising power of the Islamic Empire in the East, which had absorbed almost all of the Eastern half of the Holy Roman Empire with Baghdad and Constantinople at the heart of the region; Western forces justifiably paranoid of the threat of Islam concocted a plan between the Vatican and the heads of the European dynasties in deciding to go on a mission to capture Jerusalem and to ‘Christianise' the Holy Lands.
The military campaign sent murderous hoards of Crusaders from all corners of the Europe to the Holy Lands, raping, pillaging and plundering en-route. The examples are too many to list here but are easily accessed. To garner support for such a campaign, the people of the West were propagandised into believing that the Jew and the Christian were being subjugated and slaughtered at the hands of the Muslim barbarians. When Richard the Lionheart finally arrived at the hills surrounding Jerusalem (at the allowance of Salah' Uddin), he wept. There were no massacres and no persecution of Jews and Christians - they lived side by side in peace under Islamic Rule. The Holy Lands have always been 'HQ' for God's prescribed religion; the cradle of humanity, home of the Prophets and where the Holy books were delivered. The fact that the entire region is almost exclusively Muslim is a clear evidence. This stood until the UK and US sponsored invasions by European and American Jews (and more recently Christians into regions such as the Lebanon, now making it 50% Christian).
This system of peaceful living is supported in the Qu'ran in several places. From the time of the Holy Prophet, through the Umayyad, Abbasid to the Ottoman Empire the existence of Jews and Christians was not only tolerated but advocated under Shariah law. It is worthy of note that these categorisations are 'labels' propagated by Western historians: they all relate to one simple nation, the Islamic nation, the Ummah. Even after the Crusades, in spite of the mistreatment at the hands of the so-called Christians, the Islamic Ottoman Empire continued to actively adopt policies of lenient behaviours towards those with different faiths. The Ottoman Empire was often as a refuge for the Jews of Europe escaping persecution from Christians, whilst the Muslims relationship with the Orthodox Church was also peaceful. ‘Kanun' law for the Christian and Jews ran alongside Shariah law but often Christian women opted to have their grievances heard under Shariah law as it favoured the position of women with regards to compensation, inheritance and legal rights of possession.
Islam was the key influencer behind the advent of science, agriculture, politics, education, the Renaissance and was a driving force behind the European resurgence which leads directly to the European ‘coffee house' idealists, Newton, Greys Anatomy and to the Industrial Revolution. Spain went from being an arid desert to becoming the fruit garden of Europe under Islamic rule. Women were given the right to vote, inheritance and proprietary rights under Islam 1200 years before the West recognised any part of this issue.
In spite of this, throughout European (and now American) history, there has been and continues to this day a complete denial of the Islamic influence in the context of World history. Children in western schools are not taught of Islam's influence on history, the enlightenment through Islamic jurisprudence or even a simple context to Islamic influence in the world. In the UK, the issue of Palestine and the Ottoman Empire being pulled into WWI is completely omitted from the educational text books.
Islam is simply ‘omitted' from the History books. Unacknowledged. We cannot even argue that it is a revisionist position as the history books never did tell the full story in the first instance. In the libraries of the West, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries there was a massive upsurgence in anti-Islamic publications. There are little or no books by Islamic authors of noteworthiness published and held for posterity in the majority of public libraries in the West.
The demonisation of Islam is not a new phenomenon but it is the biggest and most reprehensible misrepresentation in history. This started when the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) first took the message of Allah out to the masses. As I have stated, it started even before this – it was a battle against belief, not just Islam, although Islam is the purest form of the religion of the Prophets. A Muslim is one who submits to the will of Allah; Muslims regard all the Holy Prophets (pbut) to have submitted to the will of Allah, they were all persecuted for their beliefs.
Today we have the global media network, the ‘hidden' hand, corporate oligarchies and capitalist free markets economies. All are threatened by the advent of Islam (please note: not Islamists – the term is offensive to most, if not all Muslims). We still have no clear idea who committed 9/11, why the towers were ‘pulled', why the airplanes were modified, why the steel melted at 800 degrees not 2,300 or the relevance of operation ‘Northwoods'; the pleas of the families for an inquiry are denied and the evidence has in the majority, been completely destroyed.
The Muslims of today are being put under an intolerable amount of suffering; they face persecution and oppression the world over in almost all of the high-Muslim population countries. Imperialistic forces continue the age old tried and tested tradition of Divide and Conquer. This goes hand in hand with a war of words, a battle for the hearts and minds of the West... to enable continuing aggression against the Muslim world. Israel is a terrorist state funded by the US and holocaust reparations; we need not list Israeli atrocities other than to say that in the Book of Moses, the Jews are clearly prohibited from oppressing another people having been oppressed themselves. They are meant to wander without a land. They are in the main European, Ashkenazim, Khazar, non-Sephardic and non-Semitic Jews.
We are hurtling towards the end of days with no respite in sight. The Jews and Christians go hand-in-hand believing that the return of their Messiah will occur when their re-occupation of the holy lands is complete; when Jerusalem is recaptured; when the Al-Aqsa mosque is destroyed and the Temple of Solomon re-established. No cost is too great. Ultimately to understand why the image of Islam is as you perceive, we need to look at the greater context – it depends which side of the fence you are on, whether you are doing Allah's bidding or working against it.
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