Islam: Muslim in America Yosmaira De Leon Devry University Professor Peter Conis Does being different makes me less? Would I suffer for being born into a hated religion? What does freedom of religion means? Islam is a world religion that has been widely misunderstood amongst the general population. There are more misconceptions around Islam then there is understanding.
Islamic Fundamentalism I INTRODUCTION Islamic Fundamentalism, diverse political and social movements in Muslim countries of North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, which have as their goal national government based on the principles and values of Islam. Although these movements all seek to restore social justice based on sharia (Islamic law), they differ in the form of government they seek and in how strictly they believe the government should interpret the law. For many people in the West, the term “Islamic fundamentalism” evokes images of hostage crises, embassies under siege, hijackings, and suicide bombers. But these images hardly present a comprehensive picture. The ranks of Islamic fundamentalists include Muslims who provide much-needed services to the poor through Islamic schools, medical clinics, social welfare agencies, and other institutions.
Abou El Fadl is particularly critical of Wahhabism, a puritanical revision of Islam propagated by the Saudi monarchy. While Wahhabism claims to be the "straight path" of Islam, it is, according to Abou El Fadl, an “false” form of Islam, forged in the 18th-century slaughter of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. To call it "fundamentalist," he asserts, is misleading, since it defys fundamental Islamic truths and distorts Islam by rejecting any attempt to interpret the divine law historically or contextually (11-12). Fadl utilizes Quranic passages as a way to support claims of the danger behind interpreting scriptural passages that were recorded in another period in history without assessing the historical context and background. Fadl further illuminates the dangers of such misunderstanding and an absence of historical understanding and context in which a passage is written through the examination of the passage “fight those among the People of the Book who do not believe in God or the Hereafter, who do not forbid what God and His Prophet have forbidden, and who do not acknowledge the religion of truth- fight them until they pay the poll tax with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (13).
Arab culture often embraces Islam and they make use of the Arabic language. Arabs have various views regarding terrorism as a way to express their sovereignty. Arab Americans have contributed in the fields of labor, health, social justice, law, cultural awareness and community development by putting their own interest aside and working for the betterment of all. The terrorist attacks of September 11th not only brought Arabs to public attention, but also put them at risk and in danger of discrimination and prejudice. Still to this day discrimination is present throughout the U.S. many Arabs dress differently than do other Americans; their cuisine is drastically different and their traditions are different.
Muslims can feel alienated and feel discriminated against in a country that prides itself on its accepting nature. It can be observed that since the tragedy of 9/11 Muslims and the Islamic faith as a whole have been viewed in a different light within the print news media, especially in comparison to other religions. People have many misconceptions about Islam, and Muslim’s way of life, it can be extremely difficult to educate these people on the truth outside what they hear, see and read in the news everyday and consequently these misconceptions grow and end up creating prejudice’s against the faith. Articles within the Toronto Star showed the personal opinions of a Muslim woman who made the decision in grade six to wear a hijab, which is a head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women. She speaks of it completing her identity.
The differences between Arabs and Muslims are Muslims are followers of the Islamic religion and Arabs are an ethnic group. Basically, it's the exact same as the difference between being 'White' and being 'Christian'. Although many Muslims are Arab and a large number of Arabs are Muslim, there are many non-Arab Muslims. There are also many Arabs who are Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Agnostic, Atheist, etc. Unfortunately, due to the many Islamic terrorist organizations in the world and their many threats or attacks on the different populations, many people have discriminated against persons who are, or who are believed to be, Arab or Muslim, regardless of what those persons actually believe or practice.
Jihad is supposed to be an internal struggle however; people often confuse it with an external struggle in which they use violence for dominance. “Despite the fact that Jihad is not supposed to include aggressive warfare, this has occurred. Jihad means to counter such threats and assert the predominance of Islam.” Intercollegiate Review; Spring2002, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p24-32, 9p Just and Unjust War in the Terrorist Age. Many people consider Jihad to be a movement which causes a problem in the Muslim community because of the misinterpretation of the religious beliefs.
However, more recently there has been a lot of tension between patriotic Britons and Muslims which has led to a lot of anti-Islamic propaganda among the British public. One might ask what the reasons are for this media and campaign portrayal. And are they justifiable? This topic was chosen in light of the tensions building from 9/11, the London Underground Bombings and the Iraq war as well as the more recent murder of British soldier, Lee Rigby, by two Muslim extremists which led to a wave of anti-Muslim propaganda across not only Britain but around the world. Due to the controversy that could be caused by this topic sources from patriotic Britons, Muslims and the media will be used to avoid bias and create balanced and well formulated argument.
Every Muslim goes through this problem in his/her life. In this research paper I will be discussing the world’s attitude towards the Muslim community and how they deal with these crises. But we must remember that it is not always the Muslims who face identity crisis. Anyone who has been previously colonized has to deal with this problem. This happens mainly because the imperial politicians try to create identity problems and use it as a weapon against the colonies.
Muslims, on the other hand, are found all over the world, and are followers of the religion called Islam. Not all Arabs believe in Islam, and not all Muslims are Arabs. Islam is the second most popular religion, next to Christianity. The misperception between Arabs and Muslims has led to discrimination during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Both viewed as terrorists.