Misunderstanding Islam

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Topics: Islam, Prophet Jesus (Isa) Views: 13641

I have been given the theme "The Message of History" today. A message is delivered to a place and time. Our Creator has delivered us to this day, through centuries of history, to begin the year 2004 of the Common Era. We, our successes and our failures, are a message people need to take to heart. I must be brief, and I want to talk about the most serious religious crisis of our time. It is the rift that certain fundamentalists--Christians, Jews and Muslims--are trying to open between Christianity and Islam, the two largest religions on the planet. Sadly, some people are seeking to foster hatred and religious war on both sides. The sort of misinformation that is being disseminated among Christians and Jews is quite alarming and distressing. Some of it is outright falsehood. 

For example, one thing you may hear today is that Muslims do not worship God, they worship something else called Allah. But Allah is simply the Arabic word for "God." It is closely related to the word for God, Alaha, in Aramaic, the language that Jesus and his disciples spoke, a language still spoken in a few areas in the Middle East. If you are an Arab Christian, or Arabic speaking Jew or Muslim, you pray to Allah. To question that is like arguing that French speakers don't worship God, they worship something else called "dieu". Muslims worship the God of Abraham, Moses and Jesus, and anyone who opens an English translation of the Qur'an will see that. 

Jerry Vines, former head of the Southern Baptist Convention, has described the beloved Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, as a "demon-obsessed pedophile." Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, who also gave the invocation at President Bush's inauguration, describes Islam as "a very evil and false religion." Jon Hanna, an evangelical minister from Ohio who edits Connection Magazine in that state, also describes Islam as "false." He cited the 1st epistle of St John (2: 21): "The one who denies that Jesus is the Christ, he is the liar. He is the Antichrist." Mr Hanna then concluded: "The Muslim religion is an antichrist religion." 

Yet this is a barefaced lie. The Qur'an, or Recitation of the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, the holy book of Islam, always refers to Jesus as "the Messiah." Christos or Christ is only a Greek translation of the Aramaic and Hebrew word, "messiah." The Qur'an also refers to Jesus as the word of God and spirit from Him, born of the sinless virgin Mary, "purified above all women," and it gives more space to Mary than the New Testament does. I know a number of Muslims who ask "our Lady Mary" for her intercession every day. There are several shrines in the Middle East where Christians and Muslims honor Mary side by side and ask her to pray for them. I have never heard, and never expect to hear, any Muslim insult the name of Jesus. It would be a rejection of what Islam has taught them, that he was the promised messiah, that he ascended to heaven, and that he will come again before the world ends. 

Still another word you often hear is that Islam fosters hatred, violence, and religious warfare. I want to spend a bit of time on this, because it is so widespread a misunderstanding. Jews are told to take an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Christians are told that when smitten, they should turn the other cheek-although I have met very few of them who actually do that. Muslims on the other hand are told in their revelation to resist oppression, even at great personal cost, because otherwise one is only assisting the oppressor to oppress, and God hates oppressors. This is basic to Islamic ethics, and we need to understand it. 

A related matter much misunderstood is the doctrine of jihad in Islam. It means "virtuous striving," and that is a matter the Qur'an lays great stress on. "Did you suppose that you would enter Paradise without God knowing who among you have striven and are patient?" (Qur'an 3: 147). 

Living a good Muslim life, praying ritually five times a day, keeping the hard fast of Ramadan, going on the arduous Pilgrimage to Mecca, giving generously to the poor, rearing one's offspring in the fear of God, is all of it a jihad. 

"You shall believe in God and in His messenger, and strive with your possessions and with your selves. That is better for you, did you but know" (61:11). "O you who have faith, fear God, seek means to come to Him, and strive for His sake; so may you prosper" (5: 54). 

The early Muslims had to strive also in battle against attacks by their enemies. The Qur'an states the circumstances in which and Islamic state ruled by Islamic law, or an imperiled Islamic community, may resort to war. These are: 

1. When there is a grave and sudden threat to religion. "And if God did not repel some people by others, then cloisters, churches, synagogues and mosques wherein God's name is much remembered would have been pulled down. And surely God will help one who helps Him, surely God is strong and mighty" (22:40). 

2. When Muslims are subjected to oppression. "And what reason have you not to fight in the way of God, and of the weak among the men and women and children who say, 'Our Lord, take us out of this city, whose people are oppressors. Grant us from Thee a friend, and grant us from Thee a helper'" (4:75). 

3. When Muslims are forced out of their land. "And fight in the way of God those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Surely God loves not the aggressors" (2: 190). "Whoever retaliates with the like of that with which they are afflicted and are again oppressed, God will surely help him" (22: 60). "To fight in the Holy Month is a serious matter, but to bar from God's way, and the Holy Mosque, and to expel its people, is yet more serious in God's sight; the disorder is worse than slaying" (2: 217). 

4. When political entities commit deliberate breaches of treaties and pacts. "Those with whom you make an agreement, who then break their agreement every time, and keep not their duty. If they break their oaths after their agreements and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief- because surely their oaths mean nothing-so that they may desist" (9: 12). 

Can you understand that in the eyes of many Muslims, Palestinians (for an example) have now been put in that position where they must resist? Suicide is forbidden in Islam, and very rare in Islamic societies, but if one must sacrifice one's life in order to help the oppressed (and when one reaches that point is a matter of interpretation), most religions consider it an heroic action. 

Muslims are also explicitly instructed in the Qur'an that all acts of war by them must cease immediately if their enemies sue for peace, pledge to end persecution and oppression, and sincerely undertake to abide by their oaths and covenants. "But if they desist, then surely God is Forgiving, Merciful" (2: 192). "And if they incline to peace, then incline thou also to it, and trust in God. Surely He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing " (8: 61). 

The issue of deterrence is also discussed in the Qur'an. "And make ready for them whatever force you can, and [have] horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of God, and your enemy, and others beside them, whom you know not-God knows them" (8-60). Thus Muslims are ordered to be ready for war, not in order to start it, but to keep their enemy from disturbing the peace. 

So far as war for the propagation of faith is concerned, such a thing is not mentioned even once in the Qur'an. This fact should be a revelation for those who think that Islam requires its followers to fight for the spread of their religion. 

This is something we and our statesmen need to be aware of: over a billion Muslims believe that they are divinely ordered to refrain from aggression, and also to resist attacks and oppression. Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. If Muslims continue to be misunderstood and slandered, they can cause great pain to the world's societies. 

John Alden Williams: Retired Wm R. Kenan Jr Professor of the Humanities in Religion - The College of William & Mary in Virginia.

Source: IsraelShamir.Net

  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society
  Topics: Islam, Prophet Jesus (Isa)
Views: 13641

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Older Comments:

Islam is not only a religion, its a simple way of spending life. May Allah bless the author of the Article.

Muslim parents need to educate their children with ALOT of discussions about Islam.As my 5yr old daughter often asks me who is allah and who is jesus.I am trying my best for her to understand that Islam is for everyone and to tell who ever she meets what her belifes are to invite others to look into Islam.
Thank you for your article.

Point 1:
"My doctrine is not Mine, but His
who sent Me." [John 7:16]

"I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." [John 13:16]

- Jesus never uttered the words that he is God, Astagfirullah. In the old testament, the God of Abraham stated "I am God" over 200 times, but Jesus never uttered these three words ONCE in the Gospel.

Point 2:

In Aramayic, the original language of Christ, Jesus called God "Alayho"

Moses in Hebrew called God "Elih"

Muhammad in Arabic called God "Allah"

Allah is the God of Abraham, our Creator, our Resurrector. So the question is, does Jesus save, or does our Lord, Alayho/Elih/Allah save?

I am not asking you to switch your thinking that Jesus (as) is your saviour, I just ask you to know and love OUR God, our Lord more.

"He [Jesus] said unto them [the disciples], But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ (Saviour) of God. And he straightly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing." (Luke 9:20 and 21)


"And he [Jesus] said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt." ("Mark 14:36)

Jesus asked our Creator to be his Savior from death, symbolized as "this cup" in Mark 14, undisputedly revealing that Jesus can not be our Savior if he himself prayed for a Saviour.

The problem lies where the meaning Masihk/Masih/Messiah, is seen as being the same meaning as Christ, but then gains more meaning, and I have no idea from where, that it also means that Jesus Christ somehow becomes a saviour for our sins. The questioin is, if Christ means Messiah, how does it also mean saviour for the sins of humanity?

If Jesus were our saviour for our sins, he would know when the day of resurrection would be:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father

I have put that I am indifferent to this article. However, really I would say that there are parts of it that I am for and parts of it that I am against.

I am a Christian. I am really interested to read this article, and I think that there are lots ov very valid points, for example the fact that "Allah" means "God", rather than a god specific to Islam. I love you Muslims, and Muslims I know or have met have been mostly fantastic people and the ones I know are great friends. I think Islam has lots of good principles. However, I also believe that there is no way to God except via Jesus. I don't think accepting Jesus' salvation and forgiveness is any reason to carry on sinning, though. It's just that without Jesus, I would be burning in hell, and even worse, unnable to feel the amazing love that is Jesus, that you and me were made to know.

I just realized after reading this article, how wonderful it really is. Really this article is superb. It should be distributed amongst southern baptist and evangelical churches. Not only amongst the churches, but amongst the southern states, because these people have no clue that Muslims are ALSO awaiting the second coming Jesus Christ the son of Mary.

I loved the point where you stated that no where in the Qur'an is warfare and violence advocated for the purpose of spreading Islam. Very true, this myth that it does, should be cleared up with the help of like-minded fellows to John Alden Williams. May Allah bless such individuals so that they may spread the message of peace.

Increase the education levels in the southern states of America. They REALLY need it!!!

Violence against women:Women are the pearls of society. Muslims know according to their teachings that paradise lies under the feet of the mother.The bond that connects the baby to his mother while his/her creation starts in his/her mother's womb is a miracle. Yet in every part of the globe majority of women are treated with little respect. Women of all races have united globally in their own voice breaking barriers for all to advance humanity for women and for future generations.

In the US according to facts printed below one would find the sufferings of women.I hope it is time we take our universal human sufferings seriously:

Amnesty International USA: http://www.amnestyusa.org/stopviolence/factsheets/violence.html

Below are verses on how should we treat our parents including our mothers. Also God(Allah in Arabic) is addressing all believers including Christians and Jews.This means we can all work together to advance humanity first we must pass our ego:

31:14 And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.

2:62 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

2:113 The Jews say: "The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: "The Jews have naught (To stand) upon." Yet they (Profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; but Allah will judge between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment.

2:135 They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (To salvation)."Say thou:"Nay! (I would rather) the Religion of Abraham the True, and he joined not gods with

Kim, i am appalled to see that someone who considers themselves civilized would point a finger at a persons religion for their wrong doing as opposed to pointing a finger at the person. True that there are abused muslim women out there. So are christains women and catholic, hindu's etc. Why does it become a question of a persons faith when it happens to be a muslim. Sins and crime happen all over the world. No one should be pointing a finger at anybody as it is only God who knows that truth. But if you can't help yourself, point that finger at the criminal as an individual not point a finger at their religion. I have come across quite a few non muslim battered wives as well. One of the reasons people are not aware of them is because nobody would talk about it in the media cause they are not muslims. That is sad. Looks like to me the attack here is on Islam not on the wrong doers.

Sean, Kim, you should be ashamed of your comments and the hidden racial superiority entangled within your words.

Kim, when you try to justify that Muslims have contributed nothing to modern day inventions, imagine where you'd be if Muslims did not create maps of America in the 10th-14th centuries way before Columbus' birth? When do you think he would have bumped into America without his Moorish guide directing him, telling him where to go? Would you like to be living in Europe wearing goat skins from the dark ages, or would you like to fess up and give Islam it's due credit for laying the foundation for areas of science, exploration, poetry, mathematics, astronomy, government, etc............do you really think Kierkagaard could have studied metaphysics without the writings of of Muslim intellectuals such as Hafiz, Idrees, Jalaludeen Rumi and the countless other Muslim greats of the past?

Imagine if the Ottomans did not invent the cannon, or if the Arabs did not translate the writings of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle into Arabic, which were available in Spain, kept by European kings as treasures. Then they plunder Spain and take the writings of Socrates which Muslims preserved, re-translated it for use in Europe...what if Muslims did not preserve this great history while Europe was in a barbaric state of the dark ages???? Christendom considered such writings as blasphemous and heretical, and ordered it to be burnt and destroyed while Muslims translated, preserved. Accept it...and take my words as advice - There is no future without knowledge of the past. A basic logical argument proves this. If you posted a lie yesterday, and then forget what you lied about, then tomorrow I refute your lie and state the truth and the falsity of that lie, how will you be able to correct yourself before I refute your lie and expose you for lying, if you forgot what you lied about in the first place?

Sean, your sanctimonious attitude will get you nowhere.

Firstly I would like to say, Peter I welcome your kind words and affection towards Muslims, because likewise I extend my hand towards you and the millions of good-hearted, God-fearing, and peaceful American citizens who follow Jesus's true teachings of showing kindness, and loving even your worst enemies. This is what I would like to state that Muslims in the USA and Canada very much so wish to share with the beautiful Christians and Roman Catholic people in the USA.

Unfortunately though, the likes of people such as Sean and Kim are trying to create an atmosphere of war of the worlds, of clash of civilizations attitude, by presenting hostility towards Muslims, and denial and self-deprivation of the truth about history, and current events. Individuals such as Sean and Kim really need to be waken up from their American dreams, and come to the conclusion that they are not any moral authority over anyone else, and that those with differing perspectives than them are outrightly rejected, regardless of the countless truths presented before them. This is TRULY a despicable state of denial in their hearts.

The arrogance of Sean, and the hostility against Islam and Muslims presented by the comments of both Sean and Kim speaks for itself. They are not creating Bridges, they are just temporarily creating these walls in their minds because they are scared to accept the truth. They themselves cannot comprehend the fact that all the people of North America and South America are basically immigrant populations, besides the indigenous natives who came here thousands of years ago across the Beiring Strait which is now known as the Beiring Sea.

Sean...if Canadians were your allies, then why didn't we send our soldiers to Iraq under your government's unilateral invasion? Mind you, that your views and perspectives sound more like that of Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper, from Alberta...

Akhbar: I welcome your comments, but I still
hold fast to the truth. I lived in several Arab
countries and worked with the women there
as part of a relief effort to help women who
have been abused and mutilated by their
husbands, fathers-in-laws and their own sons
for supposed crimes. The men who harmed
them were not even charged with a crime - i
the US or Canada, you would have been
charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
You can call me any names you want but it
won't dismiss the appalling human rights
record that these countries have and the
oppressive conditions that these
"peace-loving" people have to live under.
Canada is indeed a separate country from the
US but it still operates under The Rule of Law.
Free elections. Free Speech. Equality for men
and women. All the things that religious
-dominated countries lack. You're correct
about the sciences, algebra and trig. But what
have these countries contributed in the last
100 years? Have they developed new drugs
to combat AIDS. Or is it just up to the US
pharm. companies to develop the drugs and
hand them over? Did they develop the
technology for Islamicity.com? Nope. Don't
think so. So, now is the time to show the
world that Muslim people are NOT what
people in the US, Canada (don't fool yourself
with that) and Western Europe think. They're
bright, capable human beings who do have
the capacity to love and forgive. Show them.
It's a crisis. Help them now before they are
obliterated. AND THANKS SEAN -- Kim

Akbar is right. Islam has passed much in the way of science and culture to the Europeans.
We got the following:
Our number system (they got it from the Indians, but we got it from them), they discovered the concept of zero
Algebra, algorhythms, alchemy and other such terms are from Arabic.
The university system
Poetry: the troubador tradition comes from Al-Andalus, Spain. Shakespeare was influneced by this.
Many other things: coffee, candy (a word we got from al-candiq), paper, this list goes on and on.
Kim, the Muslim world has always added value to the culture of the planet. Your statements are incendiary and unqualified.

I sigh and chuckle at your comments, Akbar. Yes, I know that you are Canadian. I regard your statements as backstabbing double talk because the Canadians are American allies, but also becasue you live a pampered comfortable existence here in the West while you criticize us and our ways. Typical. I met many of you in University. Whatever you may claim, Canada is a de facto extension of the United States, the New Jersey of the US. You do what we tell you to do, with token protest of policies towards countries like Cuba.
America is a Republic, my quickie-mart friend, not a collection of departments (you are the one mired in socialistic beauracracy, checked the value of your currency, lately? How about your taxes?) Like your Indian cousins, Canadians immigrate here to lead the good life. It's the truth and you know it.

Kim and Sean: If you do not have anything of value to say here, please do not post. Your comments serve only to make matters worse. Sean, I am ashamed of your comments, when you speak in such a way you confirm the worst fears of American imperialism and hegemony. I can't think what you hoped to accompish by saying such ridiculous things (there's no Hard Rock Cafe Rome or Disney, by the way)except to coldly laugh at the expense of others.
To others who may read here: please know that not all Americans and Christians are like this right wing neo-fascist Rush Limbaugh wannabe. I am one of many who respect your traditions, beliefs, and history; one who is also concerned with the rising wave of violence and Islamophobia (as any good Christian or Muslim should)

Dear Kim and visitors, the issue of women suffering is universal. The fact that muslim women are suffing more since the last decades is more to do with global issues including war,international politics, international trade and so on not to mention inheriting the legacy of imperialism and colonisation which is the root cause of muslim sufferings globally. Muslim women on the other hand have history, civilization and are working side by side with their global parnters on issues that affect women. The pioneers as well as those who are building bridges in our global village as we refer to it now are not concerned about your background, origin or history but are dealing with issues that matter to humanity. Gone are the days where one was cornered into a tunnel under the umbrella of racism, religion and so on. We are moving away from that to bring humanity to the 21st century.

Women issues are universal wether it is domestic violence, torture, rape and so on. These issues also occur in the west and there are so many dedicated communities from all backgrounds, religion and so on addressing these issues to help those who are suffering.

I hope we should look beyond our differences and look at the big picture. Mankind is one entity with diverse and rich culture and knowledge. I hope we tap into that and look at the big picture.

Words of wisdom: our souls have met one another to interact with each other in their journey in cyberspace to witness our differences. One day our souls will reunite to reflect on these occassions. For the time being we must bless each other with love and kindness and inspire to reach out and discover each other's treasures to make difference for humanity.


For Islam and Humanity plse read the following urls:


Hey Sean and Kim, let me make things clear for you. I live CANADA. We are a different country from the U.S.A...maybe you were both a little too preoccupied in trying to justify your Islamaphobia when you forgot to realize that maybe my family has been in Canada for three generations. I was born in Toronto, Canada and have lived here amongst people of all backgrounds all my life.

So Kim, I am living in Canada because I was born here, that should answer your rage-filled question of somehow telling me to go back to countries where innocent people are subjugated to murder and cruel and unjust punishment, and economic sanctions, including foreign invasions for decades.

Kim you so foolishly stated, "your culture that has contributed so littel to the true sciences and to moving manking forward out of hte darkness,"??? You don't know much about world history, do you, it sounds like you know almost nothing other than what you have been fed through lies in American history books. Chemistry is an arabic word, Al-Chemy...and not the corrupted meaning in American dictionaries, Alchemy. 'Al' itself in arabic means THE...and Chemy means a modern science...so what in the world are you talking about that "my culture has contributed so little to pure sciences"??? It is not my culture, my ancestors are from Al-Hind, or present day India. You see comments like yours are what cause misconceptions to spread like wildfire, and ignorance begets people like you. Take a few hours and study some real history. Likewise, Algebra, which is Al-Jabr, which means calculations, and is taken from the book of a Muslim scientist named Al-Khowarizmi, his famous book called Hisab Al-Jabr wal Mugabalah, which means Book of Calculations, Restoration and Reduction. Muhammad Ibn Jabir Sinan Abu Abdullah is the father of trigonometry, and was born in Iraq. Al-Biruni is the one who laid the foundation for modern trigonometry.

Kim is an Islamphobic and has developed great hatred toward this website...

Kim is obviously having hard time handling the truths that this site has been spreading...

Let me quote her/him -
".....ridiculous, pointedly anti-American, Jewish-hating, and abominably written articles and opinions on this site..."

One has to wonder whether she ever watches TV in America or listen to the radio... One can find 24-7-365 hatred toward Islam and Muslims which is not found in Europe, Asia or anywhere else...

"....If it were, why is there a huge
Muslim population living here? Like it or not,
America moves the world into the future..."Like it or not, America moves the world into the future (as does Western Europe) with the advances in science, technology, engineering,
medicine,economic theories etc..."

50% of the Musims are revert to Islam. America is moving the world into nudity, pornagraphy and how to hate your neighbor and start WAR by lying.. and of course how to steal and oppress. Americans are teaching the world, including Kim, just attend Church when you hear a big bang; rest of the time just cheat your husband/wife...

She/he(Kim) obviously does not know the history of the world. There is cyclic nature to everyting...For example, Kim would be unable to raise her voice when she is 81 b/c her voice box would be less functional due its bad use at an earlier age...Hence, the 1/2-life of the U.S. is 30 yrs...

.....If I take the screw off of Kim's American computer, she will be sent back to stone age because the the screw was designed by stone age people in the Middle East....

"...treated women from Arab countries... cruelly abused by their husbands....laws in these countries....consider women property and they can treat them however they wish....."

Hmm.., one has to wonder what church she/he(Kim) has been attending. It is all the same old rubbish preached by Christian and Jewish evangelists and extremists....to defame Is

I would like to take the time to elaborate on Kim's comments. First of all, America is indeed the future. You may rail against it, you may deny it, but it is inevitable. India may indeed make many computer technicians, engineers, etc, but where do they all seek to live? Certainly not in the sweaty jungles of the Subcontinent (nor in sand-choked Arabia), where, among other things, there is a massive unemployment problem that Akbar does ot mention. They move here, of course. Where do the Chinese seek their fortune? Why, here in the USA. Just like millions of others before them. America is unique because it welcomes these people (whatever you may claim) and they add their vitality to make the nation great; America always reinvents itself. It will never fail nor fall, but shall, in fact, triumph. As it always has and always will.
I look forward to the day when the Muslim world ceases to vainly wall itself in behind a Quranic Iron Curtain, and accepts the rest of the world for what it is.
The day will come when my descendants will visit your nations freely and without fear as tourists during the summer vacation. We will open Disney World Mecca, Hard Rock Cafe Baghdad. Your children will work at McDonald's, drink Coca Cola, watch voice dubbed reruns of last year's American Sitcoms, buy Levi Jeans and Rock CDs at Shopping Malls.
And what is more, they will look back with embarassment at their cruel and barbaric history (like the Germans, Japanese and the Russians) and quietly thank us for setting them free.
Get angry at this post if you wish, insult me if you want, but you know in your heart that I speak the truth of what will be.

Akbar: Tell me again: Why are you living in
Canada?? Why aren't you living in
Afghanistan or Sudan with other Islamic
people? Mmmm. Maybe the quality of life is
little bit different there, huh? Don't be so "black
and white." I never said America was perfect
and everyone knows what an idiot Bush is.
But unfortunately your culture that has
contributed so little to the true sciences and to
moving mankind forward out of the darkness
(and I mean this in terms of pure science --
not religion) needs to examine itself and make
changes if it is to survive the future. That's not
opinion - that's a pure fact. A professor at Yale
(He is an observant Muslim by the way)
recently said at a lecture that "Many Islamic
people have become so consumed with
hatred and bitterness and their lives have
become so miserably impoverished and
joyless that they have become incapable of
identifying their own needs and wants. All that
they can think of is how much they hate
America, hate Jewish people, how oppressed,
how humiliated, etc...etc...etc...they are that
they can no longer see a future at all." That's
terribly sad because it's so unnecessary.
That's just this person's opinion, but it's
something to think about. Change or cease to
exist. It's the natural order of the world. I
welcome and respect your comments and
views -- Peace, KIM

Muslims have great respect for Christians and muslim women have the highest respect for Maryam the mother of Jesus Christ. In the Quran her attributes are stated as: And when the angels said, "Maryam, Allah has chosen you and purified you. He has chosen you over all other women. Maryam, obey your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow".(Chapter 5: 42-43)

This means that Mary mother of Jesus is above all women. Also muslims believe Mary was brought up under God's protection. If we look at the wisdom behind when Mary's mother pledged what was in her womb without knowing his/her gender. In those days boys and girls were not the same. But still Mary's mother went ahead with her pledge to God when Mary was born. (Please refer to Chap 3 verse 35-36 for the background to this info.) Mary's birth was a miracle. It shows how gender does not matter to God but other attributes are. Since the name Mary is always mentioned with the name Jesus in the Quran and Jesus is referred to as 'son of Mary' it reminds women all the time that women are noble and have special status in this world and in the next world.

The civilization of the muslim world spread from Arabia to the rest of the globe. Islam is a religion that Illuminates the world and history can not be erased. If we look into the meaning behind Islam it is the religion of Abraham also. As the professor illustrates in this article that the three nations believe the same teachings though in different ways it shows that we can work together. Our differences will be resolved when prophet Jesus returns who will unite us all. Until then all we can do is be patient with each other and learn from one another.




Muslim Women Leaders:


Kim...your perception of America moving the world into the future is quite correct...considering that it does so by sending ancient civilizations to oblivion, such as Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, and Japan - Yet Japan for example, it is ironic considering your limited comprehension of what America is - Japan, turns around to kick America's ass in technological development.

Secondly, India has already surpassed the USA in the the computer sciences, and China sells the USA more products than the US companies in China make with their sweat shops, and multi-national conglomerate corporations do, in fact the figure is I believe that overall, China makes US$200 billion profit, between US-China import and export relations.

I think your quite arrogant in your approach, and need to understand, that when an American is beheaded in Saudi Arabia...why do some "wonderful" Americans of your perception go and vandalize a Mosque in Florida, or stab a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, in the back while she's sitting her child into the back seat of her car outside of a store - both of which have happened. So let me ask you, are you trying to justify America is always right, and others are always wrong?
Don't you see that thinking that way is not a futuristic vision???

If violence begets violence, and this website has condemned acts of terrorism such as those undertaken by little groups in Saudi Arabia and in Iraq, yet you don't even know about those incident I mentioend to you because you sound like you learn from TV, how do you expect those with broader understanding of these situations to debate with you while you throw dirt at them? Let me teach you something a roman catholic friend of mine taught me: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the dark." If you disagree with someone, then your approach in talking is farrr from spreading light!

The world always changes...but empires of dictators (Bush, Saddam), have always come,then gone.

To Yasmin and Imran - regarding your
comments to me. Thank you for reading my
post, but I respectfully tell you this: I am still
not convinced. Imram you make some
excellent points about your comments to the
Islamicity editors. I have seen the most
ridiculous, pointedly anti-American,
Jewish-hating, and abominably written articles
and opinions on this site. If someone
stumbled upon this site and read some of the
articles posted they would certainly conclude
that it's just another Islamic America-hating
website with zero credibility. However, Imran,
you are wrong about America being a
dead-end. If it were, why is there a huge
Muslim population living here? Like it or not,
America moves the world into the future (as
does Western Europe) with the advances in
science, technology, engineering,
medicine,economic theories etc...If the Islamic
world is to survive at all you must find a way to
combine your religious values with
forward-thinking education in the sciences
and arts. And to Yasmin -- I'm not buying it
about the women. I've treated women from
Arab countries who have been cruelly abused
by their husbands. The laws in these
countries consider women property and they
can treat them however they wish. That''s
backwards, disgusting and totally
indefensible. Thank you for reading.

I am aware of the fact that Moslems everywhere are mistreated, and I hate that this is true. I find that there are many ignorant people commenting who believe that there is America bashing within this article. I am not one of them. I'm an American Southern Baptist and it disgusts me to think that people a Baptist minister is so hateful and contradictory to Jesus Christ's teachings. I also do think that the Arab and Muslim world needs to change and reform some of their ways. Jesus taught to love, as does Islam. We only need to learn.

I'm surprise to read this article written by non-muslim trying to remove misconception about Islam. It's high time. Do we need consultant or Media person to promote Islam ? Why we as a muslim can't do ? Why don't we try to remove misconception about Islam amon non-muslim ? Why don't we try Electrnoic media ,T.V & Mass Media for tableegh ? Every-one knowns Islam is the fastest growing relgion in the world only in ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY,they're the only in this world. What about NEPAL, CHINA, JAPAN, SOUTH AMERICA, HONG-KONG and etc. When I can see christain poster & Pastor on TV why can't we do it and promote ISLAM in a big way and remove MIS-CONCEPTION among non-muslim on TV or thru mass media ? We all know that HUMANITY CAN NOT SURVIVE WITH OUT ISLAM but what are we doing for it. I've seen tableeghi people doing tableegh among muslim what about our non-muslim brothers. How many muslim as a individual has invited there non-muslim brothers towards ISLAM or atleast given a short introduction of it ? there may be many but what's the ratio ? I hope we as a good muslim will try and promote ISLAM in some or other way - AMEEN .

Much of the misunderstanding comes out of the fact that Quran is read very superficialy. Whenever you are reading a verse ,stanza,or sura, one should read not only the meaning but the explanation.Explanation tell us when, where and under what circumstances a particular article came or appeared. Superficial study creates bias. My submission is simple, read any book or text without a bias,be objective and then judge.Also I may be a bad muslim,cristian,or jew,or any thing, that does not mean the ism or phylosphy is bad. universal truths are always same no matter what religion.Most Important thing is to be a good human being first, then only one can be anything else. For 40 years Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) practiced goodhuman behavior so much so that he was called"Amin" which means Truthful and Trustworthy. The world needs being good human being first. as for america bashing, it is america's own doing.This country thrives on war industry hence it creates war through out the world.One has to spend the produce to mentain production and make money.America will always need an enemy.In the good old cold war period it was U.S.S.R. now it is Islam.

Yes, it is true that people misrepresent Islam and Muslims just as this author has done in this article. This author is even more dangerous then the likes of Billy Grahm because he inserts lies with some truth. We Muslims worship God Alone, pray to Him Alone, Ask for Help from Him Alone without any intercession. We don't ask any human being such as Mary may Allah be pleased with her to help us or use her as an intercession as the author indicts. Islam is the true religion, any human being who uses his God given intellecut can see that. I mean is it really logical, the "Son of God" came to die for all humanity and any one who believes in him will go to heaven? What's the point of life and your deeds if someone already took your sins?

I am a Maori from N.Z originally (and for most) Aotearoa.
I am not a muslim,but by heart goes out to you all, those who have lost loved one in an illegal disgraceful war.My heart goes out to all those in prison humiliated,to all the men women children and elders who have been killed maimed raped assaulted and if we are dealing with the west all of the above.Continue fighting for not only the freedom of your people but the freedom of the world, ka arohanui kia koutou.

in response to Kim 86's comment: Islam is the worlds fastest growing and largest religion in the world. There must be a reason for billions of people to follow Islam. As for the muslim women, my personal opinion, no other religion has given as much respect and rights to women as Islam did through Prophet Muhammed(PBUH). Muslim women have the right to education and much more than any religion can imagine. Their hijab is the flag of Islam. How many "religions" have given their women that status? As for most Muslim women in middle east being illiterate, so are many man, due to lack of eduction period, not because of lack of eduction for women. Also most muslim women just make the smarter choice, they choose family and kids before career and money. I salute those women. Unlike most "civilised and educated" women they choose not to compete with men for power or better postion (even though they have the right to do so) because they understand that God made men and women to compliment each other not to compete with each other. I hope this clears up more "misunderstanding" some non muslim sisters have of Muslim women. Also on personal opinion, Muslims live on reality not in fantasy world. And sometimes realty does not sound good but in the long run, your fantasy world is only temporary.
I am a muslim women with 3 kids and couldn't ask for a better muslim husband. When i look at the lives of my non muslim girlfriends, i thank God for giving me this great religion which has always guided me towards rightouesness. May the almighty lord guide us all towards the right way.
Thank you Sir john Alden Williams for this brilliant article. Great work.

In this whole article, there is no America-bashing at all as you mentioned in your posting. I agree America-bashing lead nowhere because America itself a DEAD-END. This country does not have any direction where to go to seek light and enlightenment. If you posted your message just out of ignorance (sounds like you are) thinking it is written by a Muslim then you should apologize to the Islamicity's editor.

There are some loose points is this article. First, Muslims DO NOT, NEED NOT and SHOULD NOT worship anybody except God Almighty. Going to shrines and asking to pray for them is BIDDAH and prohibited in Islam (even Muslims do not do this at Prophet's grave in Medina) Second, I myself quit did not understand what the author meant "If Muslims continue to be misunderstood and slandered, they can cause great pain to the world's societies." He should have elaborated on this point.

TO ISLAMICITYEDITOR: Dear editor' you should have asked the author to elaborate on this point before publishing this article. Last point creates more confusion than clarification. Although, it is written by a non-Muslim, it does not mean it will be flawless. Looks like Muslims are desperate to publish anything in favor of Islam without checking its validity and weight. Please: email me authors' email and/or phone no. I will ask him for clarification.

Paul,their's no duality,no sinister and no corruption in islam .its pure and easy to understand and follow.
98:5 And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah offering Him sincere devotion being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practice regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.
37:117 And We gave them the Book which helps to make things clear;
118 And We guided them to the Straight Way.
6:153 Verily this is My Way leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you that ye may be righteous.



I truly agree with the comments made by Sir John Alden Williams. I think we really need educated people like him, in order to move the veil of miss understandings about Islam. "One of the fastest growing religion on planet Earth". If there was anything wrong with our religion, then why would we have over a Billion followers. We really need to have more and more open discussions with our Brothers and Sisters of other faith. So that they may understand the real meaning of "ISLAM-which means PEACE". Why is it that we have to keep justifying ourselves on and on that our religion means love and peace. Why cant we all work on a common platform and have peace in world.

kim86: I think it is your own misunderstanding of that sentence because you took it out of the paragraph it is in. The full paragraph below states:

"This is something we and our statesmen need to be aware of: over a billion Muslims believe that they are divinely ordered to refrain from aggression, and also to resist attacks and oppression. Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. If Muslims continue to be misunderstood and slandered, they can cause great pain to the world's societies."

Read the line before, where it says, Muslims are ordered to resist attacks and oppression and that they are part of the world's fasted growing religion. Now whatever way you have interpreted that if Muslims continue to be misunderstood and slandered, the most obvious understanding of this statement means that if they are continually oppressed and attacked, Muslims will defend themselves. Now are you, kim86, going to deny Muslims the right to defend themselves while they are being humiliated, raped, mamed, and murdered?

Do you realize that a huge part of the problem is your lack of understanding and mental block when it comes to human suffering, especially the human suffering felt by Muslims??

A well written article. I think that the Evangelical Christians are a cause of concern for us all, Christian (especially non-Protestants, whom they don't even consider to be Christian), Jews and Muslims.
I think that it is time that we recognize that we all worship the same God; although we may honor separate traditions, that doesn't mean that we can't get along, but rather that we have much that we can learn from one another.
Jesus said: "I give you a new Commandment, love one another."

Most people are aware that Muslims claim to worship the same God as Christians and Jews but are often unsure why when speaking in english they refer to God as Allah.In fact the english translation of the Quran on this site uses Allah instead of God? This makes people think Allah is different than God.While the Muslim religion may still think they consider Jesus the Messiah, they don't. The Jewish concept of the Messiah is very specific.The Messiah was to be the savior of all humanity through which all nations (Jew and Gentile) would be blessed. He would be born of a virgin, sinless, pay the penalty of sin (death)through his death, and rise again showing His and our own triumph over death. The blood sacrifice for atonement of sins has always been required.Even in the Quran Jesus, as a child, is reported to have said he will live, will die, and will be resurrected. As most Muslim believe Jesus never died but went straight to Heaven and will come again at the end of time, I am unsure what their interpretation of this verse is. Regardless, if Muslims truly believe Jesus was the Messiah written about in scripture they would hold him to be the savior of all humanity. They do not and thus do not really consider him the Christ of Messiah.The main part Muslims miss is the reason Jesus preached peace and non-violence at all costs is because this earthly life is temporary and not the end point. It is not to be cherished, longed for, or even protected because we will all die one day, and if we have accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior, we will enter the Kingdom of God.Those who fight to hold onto this life are afraid to die.It is good that Muslims are taught to resist oppression, to do good, only war when absolutely necessary, but this gets a people nowhere. Much as Peter Tosh said, Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody want to die. The teachings of Jesus were for all people. His allowing His death was the greatest testomony against violence.

It is a good article, the way Islam should be understood and practiced (apart from the bit which accepts and condones exploding suicide murderers.)

Unfortunately there is a duality in Islam which allows a sinister and corrupt form to be followed. How else can you explain the recent brutal murders carried out in the name of God. Who is the Unbeliever? ... The one who invokes God's name whilst leisurely sawing a 'Kaffir's head off with a rusty kitchen knife, whilst the victim pleads for life and chokes their last breath. They might invoke God's name, however this is not Islam this is pure evil. These Jihadis might ritually perform the five pillars of Islam but their conduct in other matters is not the religion I follow.

Stand up and be proud to be Moslem, it is your God given right. However utterly condemn those who say 'we are Moslem' but perform evil. Surely they are the kaffir / infidel / apostate / unbeliever living amongst our community?

Peace to All


P.S. There was a fatwa by issued by Abdulla Azzam during the Afgan - Soviet war, called "Defence of the Muslim Lands". This is still freely available in some Mosques. I think you'll find the ideology it proposes is one of the causes of the duality in Islam. This fatwa is responsible for so much death and destruction.

To Islamicity editors:
Who are you fooling with this garbage? The
last line of the article reads "If Muslims
continue to be misunderstood and slandered
they can cause great pain to the world's
societies." Don't you realize that a huge part of
the problem is that sentence? How the hell
can you expect that anyone would have
respect for someone who threatens that "If you
don't like me I'll kill you?" Islamic people are
born with the same native intelligence as the
rest of the people in the world but so many of
you are so infused with hatred and ignorance
that if it doesn't stop, you will end up
destroying yourselves. There is so much
poverty, ignorance and illiteracy (65% of
women in Islamic countries are illiterate - not
allowed or not important enough to even have
that basic right) Get real and get over it. The
world needs a leader to come forth who
amongst other pressing issues, will decree
that in order for Islam to have it's proper,
respectful place in the world, it must earn that
respect NOT demand it. The America-bashing
will get you nowhere - it just leads to a
dead-end. Pull yourselves up by your actions,
not by putting others down. I wish you peace.

EXCELLENT article.
Such artcles should be e- mailed to many people thru bulk e-mail process, distributed in public places( Malls, Libraries,Stadiums, universities, Worship places etc.)

It is time for muslims to start reading, understanding Quran & Hadith, so that they can be able to clarify about such great misunderstandings among people.

We should have interfaith discussions, conferences and pamphlets with similar articles to distribute. Start with colleagues or neigbors in a polite way(Islamic way). ALLAH will help us.

The hatred and terrorism against muslims in this world is because of misunderstandings, ignorance political, economy(OIL and other resources), radical religious leaders.

W.Gault,Islam cannot be destroyed(even if anyone wills).............
14:46 Mighty indeed were the plots which they made but their plots were (well) within the sight of Allah even though they were such as to shake the hills!
20 Those who resist Allah and His Apostle will be among those most humiliated.
21 Allah has decreed: "It is I and My Apostle who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength able to enforce His Will.

u believe in words of those news who's logo is patriotism.By the way journalism has got nothing to do with patriotism ,its base is in humanitarianism.
49:9 If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).
10 The believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers: And fear Allah that ye may receive Mercy.

yes their are certain muslims who kill wrongly,in Islam killing a human is like killing the whole humankind.
But these are usually reactions of what they go through,out of frustrations and helplessness ,this is the way they react.Does'nt every action has a.... reaction.

911 has brought trial' s for muslims and " Islam" for non-muslims.Is'nt Islam the fastest growing religion in world, especially in USA.

Very soon u people forget history,when middle east attained modernity u were still barbarians.How soon people forget.what modernity u speak of ,drinking blood of muslims,breathing the curses of muslims..Yes,muslims cant drink oil,but can "u" live without oil..........................?????
That's it ,use u'r might ..thats u'r right.This is u'r motto.

29:22 "Not on earth nor in heaven will ye be able (fleeing) to fr

This article points to what I think is the most looming problem we face today. Much of what was written seems to try to justify as heroes, terrorists in places like Thailand, The Philipines, Europe, etc. A Muslim can do whatever he feels is necesary to a non Muslim. Well, until recently I felt that Muslims represented a spiritual alternative for the world, but now everywhere that Muslims are brutality is also. In Africa, in Chetchnia, in Pakistan, Muslims are killing Muslim, and anybody else that happens to be there, all in the name of Allah.
I suggest that Musilims begin to look at themselves a little harder. Clearly, Muslims seem to be at least part of the problem. They don't seem to get along with anyone, not even themselves. Maybe the problem is the apparent willingness of many Muslims to accept any action taken by a Muslim so long as it is directed at non Muslims. Nevermind that in Iraq Muslims are being murdered by Muslims everyday.
What this could lead to is a true clash between east and west. Their are crazy people, G. Bush among them that have the power, and the willingnes to destroy Islam, and terrorism, beheadings, and the like only tend mute the opposition. Another event even remotely similar to 911 will only bring more misery to Muslims. Many of those that relish at the US "getting a punch in the mouth" will suffer greatly as a result. If resistance is what is required, then do so. With hold oil, cutoff contact with the west. That won't be done, because it cannot be done. You can't drink the oil, and most Muslims don't what to live without the modernity offered by the rest of the world.
Muslims have to begin to stop creating heroes of car bombers. Because sooner or later, people like G. Bush, and T. Blair will come, not to conquer, or to liberate, but to destroy. If they decide to to so, it will be the will of Allah


Its sickening and agonising to see that misunderstandings and misconceptions have become an integral part in maligning the image of Islam.

Mr John Alden Williams has done a great work.

but the question is why do people create such misunderstandings,these anti-social elements are spoiling the very fabric of honest information.

2:74 Thenceforth were your hearts hardened; they became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do


Religion itself is a misunderstood system in
our times, perhaps ever in modern human
history. Islam makes it no exception. As a
Muslim I agree with the artile, but it's nothing
new. In any catastrophic situation where there
is an entity that was once unknown now
knwon due to a particular situation people will
always inquire (and sometimes fear) about
that situation.

We as humans have always interprted things
beyond our understanding, and again, Islam
is no exception. The United sttes, being a
media capitol of the world today produces
thousands upon thousands of visual aid to the
American household and when viewers watch
the believe what they see has some truth to it
and sometimes it does.

My point is, is that people are influenced by the
external world so in essence what happened
on September 11th was something that
influenced the west of our modern time to
misunderstand Islam in spite of the
"moderates" efforts to show Islam is opposite.

We as Muslims can take a definite example
from the Qur'an as it mentions that prophets
before our generations were rejected, and
perhaps that same verse can apply to the
Islamic faith as well.

I'm very confused. Here are sections taken directly from the Quran. [9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away! [3.151] We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, [2.120] And the Jews will not be pleased with you, nor the Christians until you follow their religion. Say: Surely Allah's guidance, that is the (true) guidance. And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper.

[2.135] And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim, the Hanif, and he was not one of the polytheists.

2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
[2.191] And kill them wherever you find them,

John Alden Williams shows good understanding of Islam

Mary (peace be unpon her) is no doubt highly respected in Islam. But to take her as an intercessor between God or to ask her to pray is absolutely un-Islamic. There is no place of such an attitude/action in Islam. Those who are doing so are following their whims or culture. Their actions doesn't represent Islam.

Such good articles are very rare these days. John Alden Williams showed great understanding of Islam that even many Muslims lack.

This article is fit for university text-books. A true scholarly pursuit.

Great article and it will help to eliminate fear and misunderstanding among great Abrahamic faiths.

Well written article.

Thank you for quoting verses of the holy Quran to remove some of the misconceptions about Islam.
This article is very positive and informative, I hope it will help non-muslim to increase their understanding about Islam.

jazakallahu khairan, this is the best article written by a non muslim and I ever read