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Friday, 11 July 2008

Anti-Islamic Lies Are Weakening My Belief

Taken from islamonline.net, 30/04/2008

Question: I have recently found a Christian website called Contender Ministries. This website expresses many misconceptions about Islam. I feel disgusted by these misconceptions, especially about jihad. According to the website there is much evidence in the Qur’an which encourages jihad (striving for Allah) (which they have misunderstood as a ‘holy war’) against non-Muslims. This website also talks about contradictions in the Qur’an. Of course I don’t believe there are contradictions in the Qur’an, but I hope you can improve my confidence in the Qur’an. My Christian friend has also read this website and he wants me to tell him whether the information on it is true or false. Your response will be much appreciated, and may peace be upon you.

Answered by: `Abdul-Lateef Abdullah

Wa `alaykum as-salam

There are a zillion websites now that make up all kinds of things about Islam. If we all quit our jobs and spent 24 hours a day responding to all of them we wouldn’t be able to answer all the charges waged against Islam. Most are simply nonsense and rely on peoples’ ignorance about Islam to form their arguments. This means interestingly, that we should be focusing on getting the right knowledge and information about Islam out instead of spending all of our time reacting to false accusations.

The thing they love to do most is to take Qur’anic ayat (verses) and Hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) out of context. Every ayah and hadith was revealed or spoken in a particular context. For example, the ayats about jihad were almost always in reference to a particular group of people during the Prophet’s life, not any group in general. They love to use such ayats in general which is simply a false application and understanding of the Qur’an. They also use very loose and strange translations of the Qur’an. They like to read the Qur’an the way they read the Bible – without any knowledge of the Islamic methodology for understanding its revealed text. However, Allah has provided our noble scholars with knowledge of every ayat and hadith – why it was revealed, who and what were the circumstances involved, and so on. But they like to use their own methodology of understanding Islamic texts, which is wrong. Islam has its own methodology which must be followed and that methodology requires knowledge.

There are many Muslim sites that refute these charges. I’m sorry I cannot take the time to respond to all of their charges. I would look at these sites as a start to finding the answers to your particular questions.

Wa `alaykum as-salam


In addition to the answer provided by the Counsellor I'd like to add that we (the Muslims) are constantly being attacked by evil elements of today's society. In the UK, these same groups targeted Jews in the 1930's, followed by Afro-Caribbean community in the 1960's, followed by Asian communities in the 1970's, Romany Gypsies and Eastern Europeans in the 1980's and 90's - and following 9/11 their speciality is targeting Muslims in general. In the media, specially newspapers you read derogatory articles about Islam from people with little or no knowledge. When you try and contact them to correct their errors, the papers will not publish your comments. Unfortunately this is the sign of times we live in. The only way to fight this anti-Islamic hatred is to integrate further and take up prominent roles in society - we need more brothers and sisters in politics to represent the Muslim communities (from grass root levels to cabinet roles), we need more muslims as social workers (to protect our youngsters), more sisters as Doctors, GP's, more teachers to help our children - infact more of everything.

The Islamic Jurisprudence Council which met in Makkah in November 2007, under the chairmanship of Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, with 70 Muslim dignitaries and scholars encouraged Muslims in the West to participate in elections in non-Muslim countries and play an effective political role, especially if elections brought about public good or prevented social evils.

It said this was the only way for Muslims abroad to secure their rights. It also encouraged Muslims in the West to integrate into Western societies but cautioned them against adopting any Western habits that are contrary to the principles of Islam. Those who presented papers included Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdullah Al-Subeyel, imam of the Grand Mosque. The Islamic Jurisprudence Council also emphasized that dialogue with non-Muslims supported by well-prepared media programs are essential in confronting anti-Islamic campaigns.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Most Muslim coverage 'negative'

Taken from BBC, Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Researchers looking at the way British Muslims are represented by the media say they have found that most coverage is negative in tone.

A Cardiff University team behind the study looked at nearly 1,000 newspaper articles from the past eight years.

Two-thirds focused on terrorism or cultural differences, and much of it used words such as militancy, radicalism and fundamentalist.

The research was commissioned by Channel Four's Dispatches.

Dr Paul Mason, a member of the team, said the team looked at three area.

They carried out a statistical analysis looking at types of stories and the way Muslims were described and the language used, the photographs used alongside the stories and they analysed the types of case studies used.

He said: "We looked at both nouns and adjectives and the way in which British Muslims were described.

"And we found the highest proportion of nouns used were about things like extremism, suicide bombers, militancy, radicalism - which accounted for over 35% of the adjectives used about British Muslims - fanatic, fundamentalist - those kinds of languages were used.

"And Islam was portrayed or constructed in the language as dangerous or backward or as a threat," he said.

The team found that since the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States and 7 July 2005 in London there had been an increase in stories about British Muslims and this peaked to more than 4,000 in 2006.

'Perceived threat'
Mr Mason added: "What you have to be careful of here is to watch the kind of generalisation of the very, very small number of people that are involved in political violence of any kind and the generalisation about Islam which is carried out by the newspapers.

"So following 9/11 and 7/7 of course there is a perceived threat from the public and the public are concerned about political violence.

"But it is wholly wrong to make what the newspapers do in the generalisation of those who carry out public violence to the whole of Islam and the whole of the British Muslim community."

He said there were concerns that journalists and editors may have sought to appeal to their own readership about some perceived threat to British unity or values.

You get these inaccurate stories about this threat of there is going to be more mosques than churches, which is a complete nonsense.

"There are roughly 900 mosques and there are 42,000 churches, so this is a ridiculous report."

The Channel Four documentary, It Shouldn't Happen To A Muslim, investigated whether the 7/7 London bombings and the fear of terrorism had fuelled a rise in violence, intolerance and hatred against British Muslims.


Useful Info:

(1) It shouldn't Happen To A Muslim - Channel 4 (Some brief info and useful downloads related to the documentary)

(2) Islamophobia Watch - A very useful website documenting the war against Islam