Islam Culture Versus Islam Religion & The Western Perception of Islam Essay

Islam Culture Versus Islam Religion & The Western Perception of Islam Essay

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Islam Culture Versus Islam Religion & The Western Perception of Islam

Throughout this course we have learned several different aspects of
Islam as a culture and as a religion we have also been able to put to
rest several myths that have plagued Islam in the eyes of the Western
World. In this paper I will discuss the significant difference of
Islam as a religion versus Islam as a culture as seen through the eyes
of a Malay Muslim. I will then go on to discuss how the Western world
views Islam and how it is progressively changing for the better.

Islam is a religion based on the teaching of the Profit Mohammad,
passed down by the angel Gabriel. But, to many Malay Muslims, Islam is
a culture. It is a practice handed down by their fathers, and their
father's father before that. It is something they do out of habit and
tradition that than from principles of the religion. That is why by
taking shadat, non-believers convert to Islam, and referred to as
"Born Again Muslims" they seem to make better Muslims, because they
are able to embrace the religion whole-heartedly.

Converts learn the religion from scratch and throw away their old
beliefs on becoming Muslims. Newly baptized Muslims re-learn the
religion and are able to differentiate between Islam as a culture and
Islam as a religion. They are brave enough to reject what is unIslamic
as learned through their new understanding of the Qur'aan. They fallow
this religion, separate from the culture even though they run the risk
of being branded fanatics.

Unfortunately, the majority of Malay Muslims confuse what is religion
with what is culture. They take both as one and the same and pract...

... middle of paper ...

...knows. My hope and prayer is that the
healthy process of advancement in mutual respect and trust, love and
compassion should always remain the real winner among Christians,
Muslims and Jews - all the Children of Adam and Eve.


1) Kuala Lumpur. “Mahathir badly hurt as Malay Muslims vote for
Islamic party” (Muslimedia: December 1-15, 1999).

2) Abu Talib Ahmad. The Malay Muslims, Islam and the Rising Sun.

3) Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Adair T. Lummis, Islamic Values in the
United States (Oxford University Press, 1987).

4) Council on American-Islamic Relations, “Report Outlines Political
Attitudes of American Muslims: 96 Percent Believe Muslims Should Get
Involved in Local and National Politics” (December 22, 1999).

5) Jeffrey Lang, Even Angels Ask: A Journey to Islam in America
(Amana, L.L.).

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