Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Confusion of Terms...


Peace one and all,
Another late night posting! Nothing more, really, than a collection of my usual ramblings. So Yalla!
Looking briefly for blogs containing the word 'Islam' this evening brought up a vast range of responses. My brief scan through them has left me feeling rather disappointed. As a seasoned internet user, strongly anti-Islamic views are not new to me. Just google 'Allah', or 'Islam' and you'll see what I mean. However, looking through these posts tonight it seems that so many people still insist on regurgitating the same tired old view of Islam as inherently violent and that this apparent violence is based on Muhammad's own teaching (alayhis salatu wa al-salaam).
Man, it gets tiring hearing the same old chestnut again and again and again - like some old cracked record. The people of Islam have been putting with this sort of nonsense for the best part of a thousand years and it's really old hat now.
It's as if some people just can't seem to separate Islam as a religion and the actions of Muslims as people. The two things are not the same at all. Islam as a faith should be judged on its teachings and not on the people who 'claim' to follow it. Individual Muslims, as faulty human beings, may or may not be good examples of their faith - but, logically, it doesn't detract from Islam as a religion. It's like comparing drawing pins and smoked mackerel; that is, the two things do not belong in the same class of objects.
Of course, it's easy to prove that some (indeed many) Muslims fall short of the mark that Islam sets. But, pointing to the faults of some Muslims says more about their defects than it does about Islam as a religion. I was looking at one posting showing some Egyptian policemen beating up an Egyptian Christian - horrible for sure, wrong - of course, but what does it show about Islam itself? Very little, I would contend (other than the fact that Islam does not exist in all Muslims).
As for claims that Islam is inherently violent, I would argue that such ideas spring from either a misunderstanding or from a deliberate distortion. Misunderstandings are easy to clear up through calm, polite and friendly discussion. Distortions can also be set aright in a similar manner. Furthermore, it's time we all realised that there are crackpots on both sides. Should we therefore let those at the margins decide how the rest of us interact?
More on this topic later insha Allah...
I wanted to close with a verse from the Quran. It's from Surah al-Anfal and was the first one my eyes fell upon when I opened my Quran this evening:
'The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become
fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely'
(Quran 8:2)
Wisdom and Truth from the Lord of all Wisdom(al-Hakim) and the Master of all Truth (al-Haqq).
Ma'as salama
Abdur Rahman

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