After the events of September 11, 2001 which were attributed to Islamic extremists, many Americans reacted in anger and fear, suspicious that Muslims had started a holy war and were planning to destroy the country. Ignorance about the Islamic religion, often sensationalized in the media, intensified this idea. Small excerpts taken from the Qur’an were repeated over and over in the news media. Considering that the word “Islam” is translated from Arabic to mean peace, a more comprehensive knowledge of the religion would prove to alleviate the sense of fear concerning Muslims and the Islamic religion.
Islam is based on the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed who is said to have received a revelation from ALLAH which was recorded and became the Holy Qur’an, the sacred book of Muslims. As noted in Honoring Our Neighbors’ Faith, Islam is more than just a religion to the Muslim; it guides the physical, mental, social, spiritual and academic life in order to establish a complete worldview. As in Christianity, there are different cultural traditions and values, but the main pillars of the Islamic faith, some which are similar to Christianity and Judaism, include: worship of only one God-known as ALLAH to the Muslim, prayer, charity, fasting and pilgrimage. Muslims are very charitable, donating money and food to those in need. The Islamic rules of conduct mirror some of the Ten Commandments that Christians and Jews follow, such as: worship of only one God, and prohibition of murder, adultery, covetousness, lying and stealing. Additionally, the rules state that Muslims should not attack, be aggressive or cause fear or discomfort (Farlee, Gardner, & Schmitz, 1999, p. 66). Arguably, there are ...
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...of 911 did so in response to the current conditions in the United States in which many people are living in poverty while others are becoming increasingly wealthy. Regardless of the reason behind the attacks, the Prophet Muhammad encouraged his followers to strive to make a difference using nonviolent means.
Extremists exist in all religions; abortion clinics have been bombed in the name of Christianity and Muslims have committed acts of terrorism in the name of Islam. The fact remains that the propensity toward violence is part of the individual and not related to the core principles of their religion. If society would put aside the many prejudices and seek to understand each others’ beliefs in a nonjudgmental manner, we could perhaps all learn to live together in peace and harmony, respecting and caring for each other as members of the same human race.
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