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Reader comment on item: [Pew Poll on] How Muslims Think
in response to reader comment: Ms. Thompson

Submitted by Sarah Thompson (Canada), Jul 1, 2006 at 15:09

Hello Daisy

The wall is something you have to see from the view of Muslims as well as from the view of non-Muslims. To assume Muslims think about death, rape and what-not, is like jumping off the 'Rock or Reality' and falling into the 'Muskeg of Misconceptions'. Are there Muslims that abuse women? Undoubtly there are, just like there are Atheists, Christians, Hindus, and Jews that abuse women. Are there Muslims that think of killing someone for their own greed? Undoubtly there are, just like there are Atheists, Christians, Hindus and Jews who think about killing someone for their own greed.

When we look at this "wall", we have to realize how Muslims think of the West. Take a red t-shirt for instance. If we were to take a red t-shirt and hold it up in front of a group of people, you would get different opinions: "Red makes me look fat", "Red would look so good on me!", "The Devil's colour!", "Red?...sorry, I only wear black", "One of those gang people are going to come and beat me up!". "I feel alive in it!".

Now if you were to take a whole group of Muslims, each Muslim would have a different opinion, or an opinion similar to those around him or her:

~ "The west is trying to drown the Muslims. They hate the Muslims. I am very sure that they're purposely bringing these so-called Muslims up on to the screens to give Islam a bad name! Why do they not teach true Islam and tell people Islam has no part in this- but no! They want Islam to go down, that is what they want!"

~ "The west contains both good and bad, we must learn their good actions, and avoid what is bad."

~ "Wow...look at the landscape of Canada! Look at the Stars of America! Look at the fashion in Britian! Those are truely the heavens of this world..."

~ "I hate freaken America! They say that we abuse our women! Look at them as they plaster there women all over the walls and show that they give women rights!- They have given women rights to look like sex idols! Disgusting, filthy people. They drink themselves silly...if you're happy and you know it, grab a bottle..."

~ "Right children, get yourselves together! We're going to the West where you shall be dazzled by the wonderous people!"

~ "I love the West! Actually I lived in the West once but I decided to move back here to help the people. I have many friends there- mainly non-Muslims. They are all quite nice, except there are a certain few that have the wrong idea of Islam. But that's OK, I have had many misconceptions about the faith of others, and aslong as they're open minded to learn about my faith, and why my faith allows certain things and forbids certain things, then I am more than fine"

~ "The West? Well I heard many hate Muslims there....not sure if I want to go there anymore."

~ "I heard a lot of people are converting to Islam in the west! I mean, you'd expect my country to have the strongest Muslims, but those that are converting in the west are quite strong! I mean, their knowlege on Islam is incredible! I have been raised Muslim, but when compared to one of those converts- I'm nothing!"

~ "The west seems like the perfect place to give my children a good education."

Most Muslims are fine with adapting to the west, but that does not mean that they're going to leave their cultural background. There are Muslims that will eagerly come to the western soceity and forget about everything and just adapt! But there are also those that will adapt to the west while still holding on to their faith and cultural backgrounds.

You have to realize that today the Muslim community has been divided. Majority of the Muslims in the world have all of a sudden become totally strong, strict, and no-nonsense like when it comes to their faith. The others don't care too much. They drink, they date, the girls wear tiny revealing clothes, the boys stare at the girls, and they do not care about what faith has to say, BUT! If someone says something against Islam, these Muslims will surely jump up like the rest- even though they do not follow Islam, and even though they ignore Islamic teachings, some of those that are not following Islam will still come up to defend it.

A few years ago, I couldn't tell who was Muslim, and who was not. The only time I could define a Muslim from a non-Muslim in my community was in the mosque, or once they had told me that they were Muslim. Muslims all around the world, were once asleep. They had no clue what was going on, nor what position they were in, in the world. Most women did not bother to wear the hiijab in the West, and did not care to research the reason for the hijjab like many new female converts may do before coming to Islam. It was not untile 9/11 when the Muslim community was awoken. Everyone was blaming Islam, everyone was blaming the Muslims. I remeber hearing the news and being devestated, and then hearing that CNN had played a 10 year old video clip of the people of Palestine cheering for something else- not about the destruction of the twin towers. I was angry that CNN would do that, and even more confused to why these "Muslims" would do such a thing. Destroying towers and killing innocent people is not Islam.

If you kill a life unjustly it is as if you killed all life (Qur'an 5:32)

"Avoid envy-it devours good deeds just as fire devours woods" (Hadith AD3-1366-4885)

The believer who is perfect in faith is he whose behaviour is best and those who are best to their wives. (Hadith Tirmizi MM1-213-68)

And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols [i.e, rites] of Allah; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy [ who does not seek aid] and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful. (Qur'an 22:36)

Come, I will tell you what Allah has prohibited you from doing: don't take any other as his equal; be good to your parents; do not kill your children on a plea of want. We provide supplies for you and for them." (Qur'an 6:151)

A good action and a bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. (Quran 41:34)

There is no compulsion in religion. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Qur'an 2:256)

So remind, you need only to remind. You cannot compel them to believe. (88:22)

Seek the abode of the hereafter with what God has given you, without forgetting your portion of the world. And do good as God has been good to you. And do not seek to cause mischief on earth. God does not love mischief makers.' (Qur'an 28:77)

But as for those who break God's contract after it has been agreed and sever what God has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode. (Qur'an 13:25)

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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