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St Antony's College Middle East Centre University of Oxford - Faculty of Theology and Religion…
5 commentaires - “Islam and Life: Western media portrays distorted image of Islam”
I believe the best way to fix a problem, is to get to the root of the problem. For Muslims to change our image start with oneself,friends, coworkers, neighbors and every one you come in contact with!! Tariq, I love your honesty!!!! I always say If Africa had a few leaders with Nelson Mandela’s vision it would be in a much better shape than it is today.
The enemy or the slanderer lies within , why are we forever blaming everybody else, i refer to numerous writings and talks where muslim scholars portray Islam as wife beating ,stoning and hand cutting religion to mention only a few.
We have to concentrate more on reform of our scriptural interpretation and the struggles within , For me islamomania is a bigger danger than islamophobia
I request Tariq please to hold series of talks on lived islam for women not only in the west where we at least have some liberty but in the larger muslim world(i am expecting an honest view as muslims love to say how girls were buried alive before islam, when u look at the blackened form of many many muslim women i see no difference)
If Islam is so bad, then why is it the WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING RELIGION! It is also one of the youngest religions. However no matter how hard everyone tries to give Islam a bad name, it will be twice as more populated. So let’s get straight to the point yeah?, Basically Islam is the most hated religion I don’t know why hmm maybe because it is also the most fastest growing religion and 2nd largest but no one will be able to stop this religion from growing.
A new study found that the number of Britons converting to Islam is growing, a London-based newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The Independent newspaper said that the estimated number of British converts has always been difficult to count because “census data does not differentiate between a religious person that has adopted a new faith or was born into it.”
According to a new study by the inter-faith think tank Faith Matters, the real figure could be as high as 100,000, with as many as 5,000 new conversions nationwide each year. Previous estimates have placed the number of Muslim converts in the UK at between 14,000 and 25,000.
The study used data from the Scottish 2001 census, the only survey to ask respondents what their religion was at birth as well as at the time of the survey; researchers broke down what proportion of Muslim converts there were by ethnicity and then extrapolated the figures for Britain as a whole, the newspaper said. In all they estimated that there were 60,699 converts living in Britain in 2001.
The researchers polled mosques in London to try to calculate how many conversions take place a year. The results gave a figure of 1,400 conversions in the capital in the past 12 months, which, when extrapolated nationwide, would mean approximately 5,200 people converting to Islam every year.
Meanwhile, the figures are comparable with studies in Germany and France, which found that there were around 4,000 conversions a year in each country.
“This report is the best intellectual ‘guestimate’ using census numbers, local authority data and polling from mosques,” Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, told the newspaper.
“Either way, few people doubt that the number adopting Islam in the UK has risen dramatically in the past 10 years.”
Asked why people were converting in such large numbers, he replied: “I think there is definitely a relationship between conversions being on the increase and the prominence of Islam in the public domain. People are interested in finding out what Islam is all about, and when they do that they go in different directions. Most shrug their shoulders and return to their lives, but some will inevitably end up liking what they discover and will convert.”
London School of Islamics Trust
When Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders during the middle ages, Arab Muslims, Christians and Jews were massacred. They spared no body. After 100 years when Jerusalem was reoccupied by the Muslims, not a single Christian and a Jew was slaughtered. Saladin should be taught in European and American schools. Saladin should be included in European curricula, says Thorvald Steen.
Leading Norwegian writer has criticized the education given to children in European schools, saying it is misleading and arguing that a Kurdish-Muslim commander “who opened Jerusalem to all religions” after conquering it over 800 years ago should be presented as a childhood hero for them.
“He was an enormously important figure, and he is not mentioned in our books,” said Thorvald Steen about Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub — better known as Saladin in the West — who defeated and took Jerusalem back from the Crusaders in the battle of Hattin in 118. He did not seek revenge though his generals wanted it greatly after 87 years of oppression and depression at the hands of Crusaders. He could easily smash the entire city, but he did not do that and took a rather tolerant and peaceful approach, Saladin, a devout Sunni Muslim, united Muslims against the Crusaders in Jerusalem and formed a huge army famous for its chivalry which was also supported by minority Christians and Jews at the time.
Richard the Lion heart was profoundly affected by Saladin’s pluralist and tolerant personality. Following a direct order from Pope Gregory VIII, Richard the Lion heart led the third crusader army against Saladin in 1191 after he’d conquered Jerusalem four years earlier. “The real provocation for the pope was that Saladin opened Jerusalem to all religions,” Steen said, arguing that the “pope’s teaching at the time was ‘You crusaders must bring Saladin’s head to Rome, and the more non-Christians you kill the faster you rise to paradise.
Though he managed to defeat Saladin’s army in the battle of Arsuf, Richard the Lion heart failed to retake Jerusalem from him, eventually returning home after coming to an agreement with the Muslim commander for Jerusalem to stay under Muslim control but be open for Christian pilgrims. “Richard was a cruel fundamentalist, but he became a confused fundamentalist after discovering that the world is much different than what he thought,” Steen noted, adding, “Richard was shocked about Saladin, who he thought the devil’s man being at such a high level.” The Norwegian author argued, however, that intense propaganda was carried out in Europe to exalt the Richard the Lion heart after his death. Steen stressed that the reason William Shakespeare did not write about Richard the Lion heart is because “he is too perfect to write about in Shakespeare’s style where characters are represented with their good and bad sides together.” The way he presented Saladin has been admired, especially among Muslims.
UNO has taken a right decision to hand over Jerusalem to Muslims because they are going to do justice and tolerate and respect those who are different. Still one of the shrine of Jesus(peace be upon him) is under the control of Muslims who give it full respect and honour.
Read Thomas Friedman’s article in the New York’s Time newspaper “How ISIS Drives Muslims From Islam”:
THE Islamic State has visibly attracted young Muslims from all over the world to its violent movement to build a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. But here’s what’s less visible — the online backlash against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, by young Muslims declaring their opposition to rule by Islamic law, or Shariah, and even proudly avowing their atheism. Nadia Oweidat, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, who tracks how Arab youths use the Internet, says the phenomenon “is mushrooming — the brutality of the Islamic State is exacerbating the issue and even pushing some young Muslims away from Islam.”On Nov. 24, BBC.com published a piece on what was trending on Twitter. It began: “A growing social media conversation in Arabic is calling for the implementation of Shariah, or Islamic law, to be abandoned. Discussing religious law is a sensitive topic in many Muslim countries. But on Twitter, a hashtag which translates as ‘why we reject implementing Shariah’ has been used 5,000 times in 24 hours. The conversation is mainly taking place in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The debate is about whether religious law is suitable for the needs of Arab countries and modern legal systems. Dr. Alyaa Gad, an Egyptian doctor living in Switzerland, started the hashtag. ‘I have nothing against religion,’ she tells BBC Trending, but says she is against ‘using it as a political system.’ ”
The BBC added that “many others joined in the conversation, using the hashtag, listing reasons why Arabs and Muslims should abandon Shariah. ‘Because there’s not a single positive example of it bringing justice and equality,’ one man tweeted. … A Saudi woman commented: ‘By adhering to Shariah we are adhering to inhumane laws. Saudi Arabia is saturated with the blood of those executed by Sharia.’ ”
Ismail Mohamed, an Egyptian on a mission to create freedom of conscience there, started a program called “Black Ducks” to offer a space where agnostic and atheist Arabs can speak freely about their right to choose what they believe and resist coercion and misogyny from religious authorities. He is part of a growing Arab Atheists Network. For Arab news written by Arabs that gets right in the face of autocrats and religious extremists also check out freearabs.com.Another voice getting attention is Brother Rachid, a Moroccan who created his own YouTube network to deliver his message of tolerance and to expose examples of intolerance within his former Muslim faith community. (He told me he’s converted to Christianity, preferring its “God of love.”)In this recent segment on YouTube, which has been viewed 500,000 times, Brother Rachid addressed President Obama:
“Dear Mr. President, I must tell you that you are wrong about ISIL. You said ISIL speaks for no religion. I am a former Muslim. My dad is an imam. I have spent more than 20 years studying Islam. … I can tell you with confidence that ISIL speaks for Islam. … ISIL’s 10,000 members are all Muslims. … They come from different countries and have one common denominator: Islam. They are following Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in every detail. … They have called for a caliphate, which is a central doctrine in Sunni Islam.”
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He continued: “I ask you, Mr. President, to stop being politically correct — to call things by their names. ISIL, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Taliban, and their sister brand names, are all made in Islam. Unless the Muslim world deals with Islam and separates religion from state, we will never end this cycle. … If Islam is not the problem, then why is it there are millions of Christians in the Middle East and yet none of them has ever blown up himself to become a martyr, even though they live under the same economic and political circumstances and even worse? … Mr. President, if you really want to fight terrorism, then fight it at the roots. How many Saudi sheikhs are preaching hatred? How many Islamic channels are indoctrinating people and teaching them violence from the Quran and the hadith? … How many Islamic schools are producing generations of teachers and students who believe in jihad and martyrdom and fighting the infidels?”
ISIS, by claiming to speak for all Muslims — and by promoting a puritanical form of Islam that takes present-day, Saudi-funded, madrassa indoctrination to its logical political conclusion — has blown the lid off some long simmering frustrations in the Arab Muslim world.
As an outsider, I can’t say how widespread this is. But clearly there is a significant group of Muslims who feel that their government-backed preachers and religious hierarchies have handed them a brand of Islam that does not speak to them. These same authorities have also denied them the critical thinking tools and religious space to imagine new interpretations. So a few, like Brother Rachid, leave Islam for a different faith and invite others to come along. And some seem to be quietly detaching from religion entirely — fed up with being patronized by politically correct Westerners telling them what Islam is not and with being tyrannized by self-appointed Islamist authoritarians telling them what Islam is. Now that the Internet has created free, safe, alternative spaces and platforms to discuss these issues, outside the mosques and government-owned media, this war of ideas is on.