Countering islamophobia

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Islamophobia Views: 13197

Urgency of Dawah in the West

"A girl like you should take off this burqa and start getting an education," a middle-aged white woman told a 17-year-old Muslim girl at the dressing room of a respected health club. The Muslim girl was shocked by these hostile comments, but chose not to reply. Later, she reported the harassment incident to the club's manager. The manager apologized and assured her that this behavior is against their policy, and if it was repeated, he would take an action against the aggressor. Ironically, this Muslim girl is a national merit scholar who started her college education at one of the well-known universities at age sixteen.

In the middle of a friendly conversation, a receptionist at a medical clinic told a young Muslim mother who came to see a doctor for her baby, "You don't know how to drive."

In both cases, stereotypes and presumptions were absolutely wrong.

Cashiers at department or grocery stores often assume that Muslim women who wear scarfs (in accordance with the Islamic dress code) do not speak English. One Muslim girl put it: "Do I need to wear a shirt with labels saying, I speak English, I know how to drive, I have an education," so that the general public don't think otherwise just because I am devoted to my religion and covering my hair?

Anti-Muslim Hate: Why Da'wah Should Be Our Top Priority

Since September 11, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time. "Hateful, negative rhetoric regarding Muslims is on the increase both in tone and frequency. It has almost become socially acceptable to engage in bigoted and racist speech about Muslims. More frightening is the reality that the hateful thoughts and speech can turn into hateful, even violent action, which can ruin an innocent person's life", Karen J. Dabdoub-the director of the Cincinnati office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ohio, USA-wrote in The Enquirer.

Islamophobes are aggressively organizing propaganda that portrays Islam as a foreign religion that came with the backward, violent Arabs, who oppress women and deny them their rights of education, driving, working, or even leaving their homes. This completely distorted image is ingrained in the minds of the majority of the American public as a result of organized efforts by bigoted figures. Daniel Pipes, a critic of "Islamism," has proposed the creation of a new "Anti-Islamist Institute" (AII), designed to expose legal political activities of "Islamists," according to Jim Lobe of the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS).

The draft of a grant proposal by Pipes' Middle East Forum (MEF), obtained by IPS, reads, "In the long term... the legal activities of Islamists pose as much or even a greater set of challenges than the illegal ones."

"Pipes is also working with Stephen Schwartz on a new 'Center for Islamic Pluralism' (CIP) whose aims are to 'promote moderate Islam in the U.S. and globally'" and to oppose the influence of extremists," Lobe writes.

"The 'extremists,' according to the CIP proposal, are mainly represented by ... an array of organisations consisting of CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Muslim Students' Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), as well as 'secular' groups, including the Arab-American Institute (AAI) and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)," he adds.

Muslim civil rights organizations, such as CAIR, are working day and night to counteract the effects of such campaigns. But they are limited in number and resources compared to Islamophobes. The American people are victims of the biased and racist media propaganda. Ordinary American citizens do not have the time or motivation to filter the information fed to them through media outlets. Leaving this destructive tide unchallenged could lead to serious consequences: For instance, some Muslims-especially the young-will be forced or tempted to deviate from the authentic teachings of Islam in order to be called liberal or progressive. On the other hand, those who have strong beliefs will be persecuted for false allegations; they will be labeled extremists, isolated, and discriminated against.

We Must Unite for the Sake of Da'wah

To preserve genuine Islam in the West, every sincere Muslim has an obligation to educate as many people as he/she can about Islamic beliefs and values.

Islam is a complete way of life. We must adjust our lifestyle to our religion-not the other way round. That is, we cannot twist the laws of Allah and His message to fit our convenience or to please a person or group. To accomplish this noble mission, Muslims need to coordinate and unite their efforts to withstand the plots that aim at distorting Islamic teachings under slogans like "Reforming Islam" or "Promoting Liberal Islam." We need to focus our energy in passing the genuine message of Allah to humanity.

In order to do this, we must begin to unite. The Muslim community in the West is so diverse that Muslims end up getting segregated in clusters. Not only is this disunity totally against the spirit of Islam, it also makes Muslims much less effective in pursuing their goals or acting as a powerful minority that can positively influence the societies they live in.

Muslims in the West need to put aside cultural differences developed from their ethnicity or original country and consider their Islamic identity as the only source for a unified Islamic culture. Muslims from every background should review all their customs and traditions, give up what is national but not Islamic, and preserve only what is compatible with the Qur'an and Sunnah. Every Muslim must make learning the Arabic language a high priority. In their golden days, Muslims used the language of the Qur'an to communicate.

Developing a unified set of customs and social behaviors that is based on Islamic teachings and communicating in one language will act as strategies to develop a united Muslim community.

Dr. Salwa Rashad is an Egyptian writer based in Madison, USA. She holds a PhD in engineering and a master's degree in computer science. A freelance writer for Aljumah magazine, Rashad also presents Islamic views at schools, colleges, and churches. She is a peace activist with Beyond Terrorism group and Madison Area Peace Coalition (MAPC). You can reach her at [email protected]

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  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Islamophobia
Views: 13197

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Older Comments:
D. THOMAS said:
Read the article 'Confronting Islamaphobia' by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad, who presents a much more intelligent discussion of this topic.

Just one of many problems I have with the article of Dr. Salwa Rashad is his statement; 'Since September 11, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time.'. This is total nonsense, it is the actual events that create problems, the Western press I find has been very careful to present the terrorists as terrorists and not as ordinary Muslims. What a farce like there is a central planning committe to publish anti-Muslim articles, totally absurd.

I agree with Sister Salwa Rashad, that Dawa is a powerful way informing the uninformed american public about islam.

An educated person like you may know how to give dawa but I do not think all muslims living in america knows how to give dawa. The american muslims must spend some time in learning on how to give dawa. Once they have this line of direction, then they can address the fears of uninformed american public.

Also, I think you have to develop a technique to teach the american public on how to fliter information from american media. I do not know if muslim association & organizations are organised themselves to undertake such a job. But those of you who are residing in america has this wonderful opportunity to spread dawa to this powerful nation.

At this point in time, muslim community does not matter much to american politician, but in about two decades time they will. Might as well get ready from now on in light of Qur'an & Sunnah.

There's a very active and malevolent campaign on Wikipedia to spread anti-Muslim sentiment. It's done by passionate individuals (mostly Americans and Jews) who edit articles using highly partisan and questionable sources (Daniel Pipes, Bat Ye'or, etc). This really needs to be looked at by willing and informed Muslims, given the popularity of the site and how many are trusting and using it as a reliable source of information. Check out sites listed on the Muslim Guild talk page:

Please don't allow the deliberate spread of misinformation to go unanswered.

The author states; "Since September 11, the damage of planned media campaigns against Islam and Muslims has been increasing exponentially with time". What nonsense, it is the event itself that did the damage. not the media who propageted the story.

Muslims should thank the police for arresting the Muslim terrorists in Canada June 2nd from committing great harm to the country they live. If they would of did their dastardly deeds, untold thousands could of died!

Islam is as Islam does. What Islam has done, just in the recent past shows a very violent ideology, an ideology that is in mode of expansion by any means.

Islamaphobia is a nonsensical term. Islam is an ideology. As like any other ideology, being in disagreement with it doesn't make you an Islamaphobe. In the same with disagreeing with Christianity doesn't make you a Christianaphobe. Disagreeing with nazism doesn't make you a Naziphobe, it makes you in my eyes a person with morals, and a sense of justice.

Also to call people who disagree with Islamic ideology as racist is just wrong. It shows an effort to use incorrect terms to manipulte people. Everybody knows that Islam is not a race, but an Ideology!

If Muslims don't like what people say about their religion there are many things they can do. What I recommend would be to argue the points of disagreement instead of name calling, a method used by children!

While muslim unity is of utmost importance coupled with firm, excellent, pragmatic dawa et, etc, through lifestyle. We muslims must become absolutely mindful that Al Islam is the light of ALLAH and ALLAH is the light of all the worlds. Furthermore Al Islam connotes unity. Consequently, it is clearly important that we ignore the arrogrant/ignorant transgressors of the worlds' societies and focus on pure/pragmatic enlightment of self and significant others. ie, family, friends, neighbors and most of all our ummah. The arrogance/ignorance of the world cannot extinguish the light of ALLAH. We muslims must not allow ourself to get caught up with the ignorant rhetoric of the unintelligent western masses/truncated media.

Our only solution is, we must diligently continue to strengthen our IMAN/PRACTICE, LIVING AS TRUE BELIEVERS, HOLDING FIRMLY TO THE ROPE OF ALLAH, allowing our light to shine brighter than ever, individually/collectively, pragmatically with modesty. Remember, at the end of the day, it is not by how much lip service we do that we will be judged by. It is by our lifestyle, Iman + Practice. (Qur'an & Sunnah)

HALIM said:
It is not only Islamphobia but also Westernphobia. The last five hundred years we witnessed how western countries oppressed, plundered and conquered Muslim countries.We see how USA attacked Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and others. At the moment we also witnessed how US and its allies and European countries threatened Iran just for enriching uranium for its nuclear energy. Desacretation of holy Quran, prophet carricatures, killing of civilian Muslims and grabing Palestinian land, protesting and retaliation to all these injustices automatically turns Muslims as terrorists.While sanctions and embargos that kill millions are legal and virtues. Hate propagandas are the worst form of terrorism in human history.Muslims must have that balance of power for survival.

Dear Sr Farah, unfortunately you are not alone in your frustration. I live in Toronto, Ontario, and also here the majority of Muslims are either Urdu speakers or some of the Indian subcontinent languages. I know that at the mosque I go, the issue of saying khutbah in a language other than the official language(English in Ontario) was brought about. The Imam of the mosque clearly stated, "Holding the khutbah(Friday mass) in any other language(Arabic included) than the official language of the country is such a grave makhruh(disapproved action) that it might even be haram(forbidden act). He continued,"Dua's(supplications) can be held in Arabic as well as the blessings, but any dars(religious lesson) or khutbah should be held in the language of the land that anybody, Muslim or not, should benifit from it and understand our ways and our(the prophet's) message to mankind." This is the Islamic Foundation Mosque I am talking about. Since then, all the mosques followed suit. In Toronto all the mosques hold their khutbah solely in English, alhamdulillah. There are churches that hold their masses in other languages, not mosques, though. Thus we are becoming a North American entity and an undeniable reality and part of the cultural landscape. "Pakis", by the way, although in Britain the term might be offensive, 'Paki' means pure; being called 'Pure' cannot be an offence, at least not in Toronto. If you asked a brown boy what he was, he would answer,'I'm Paki'. I wonder, what would the "Pakis" say if a group of North American Muslims residing there would open a beautiful mosque in Pakistan and they would hold khutbahs in French(Muslims from Quebec). Personally I believe that holding the khutbahs in other language than that of the land is disrespectful for all those Muslims of other ethnicity than the language involved and it is an insult to the country. It's bad manners, I would say, and an Arabic saying says,'Islam hua suluq',Eng.:'Islam means manners.'
Peace and blessings

I agree that we must educate non-muslims about our religion(Islam) firstly in our family,relatives,friends and our neighbors. This are for those who reverted to Islam like me and also not to forget that even the born muslims must stil continue to educate even those who are already muslims, 'cause mostly those who make bad images about Islam and muslims are those short knowledge about our own religion(Islam). Islam condemed terrorism and other act of violence which most vulgar act are made by arrogant and ignorant muslims.If Islam means peace,we must prove this to the non-muslims even w/ our fellow muslims. To show this we also must be united in belief and must not lived in divisions of sects or any other tribal and cultural beliefs w/c are against in the teachings of Qur'an and Hadith. We must educate first ourselves before we educate others by making a good example with our good deeds is the right and proper way. ACTIONS SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.

I feel very sad for Ms./Mrs. Farah of U.K. It is true when a lot of Pakis, a modern and civilized term coined by Bush jr. during one of his broken English sessions w/ foreign dignitaries, in one place they start speaking and lecturing in their native tongue...

That's a no, no at mosque or at Muslim community center...that's a yes, yes at home, or on Pakistani cultural day...

Soln: Translate in English right after sermoning in "Paki" language or hold multiple sessions (hire English speaking Madrasa(the institute of keen observation)graduate for at least one session).

or Ms./Mrs. Farah should journey in the way of God meaning move to a English speaking mosque area...

That's my solution and I am sticking to it...

As sister Aisha from Australia wrote - it is our deeds that will convince outsiders - not our claims or invitation. Let us lead by example.

Sad to read about your predicament, sister Farah of UK ( comment 30894 ). Islamicity is a forum, a virtual City, for all Muslim brothers & sisters. You will find many people here who are well informed and have the love of Allah and feel for the Ummah. You will not be alone here. You can sign on to Discussion Board and take any topic.

Your brother in faith.

[email protected]

Uniting to remove misunderstandings, Islamophobia & extend Da'wah is fine. But as long as we remain fanatic, justifying & enforcing our skewed understanding of a great religion ( trying to, sweet little power that we have to do this ) nothing will change.

Muslims must first imagine a society & most have little power to imagine what they do not see, that every thing written in The Qur'an & ahaadith makes a perfect sense for that time & that place. Does'nt make much sence now if you apply it out of context. Justice, Honesty, fairness, humility, God conciousness - Qur'an & Hadith are full of these principles - these are golden rules valid 1500 years ago and will still be valid 3000 years from now, if the world lasts that long. The Muslim can not recognise them and does not practice them. Therefore he deserves the kick he is getting now.

There is one remedy. Allas (SWT) can forgive us for our misdeeds of centuries.

May Allah show light to my Qawm.

(Wassalaam. Ironically, I am a practising Muslim)

It seems as if people are too afraid to be seen as terrorists and therefore they seem to distance themselves from their Islamic identities. I'm studying Social Anthropology at a University in South Africa and I feel that, as a Muslim female, the fact that most people in Western societies see us as oppressed (burka, etc) is completely ludicrous! There are different interpretations of what 'oppressed' is in different societies and it seems as if the Western model is always the ideal one. It can be really frustrating to continually tell other students (usually not South Africans) that I am not an outcast in my family because I am studying at university- they seem to think that it is against the laws of Islam for a female to seek knowledge (especially females who wear hijab like me) but I take that as an opportunity to tell them that more about Islam and that it teaches us to 'seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave'.
I was researching Female Gender Mutilation and this website quoted a partial hadith (no chain of narrators, no proof of its authenticity) and said that the Prophet (pbuh) said that clitoridectomy was allowed in Islam- there is no mention of this in the Quran- and I was seriously worried that people could be spouting this hadith left, right and centre- without there actually being proof that the Prophet (pbuh) actually did say so. I am still searching for this hadith (if in fact there is one) on many online databases so that if in fact they are wrong about the hadith I will contact them in order to set it right.
I feel that there should be a shared moral responsibility of all Muslims to counter fallacious arguments put forth by the media (locally as well as internationally) and put a stop to the negative portrayal of Islam.

Very good article. Timing of this could not be perfect. Muslims need to gather Non-Muslims, fair minded people, peace loving, care for mankind and all need to be proactive. Everybody loses because of few evil and corrupt people taken over powerful US government, arranged 911 to jump start this policy against Muslims and their countries, to bomb, kill, occupy land, rob their resources for Neocons/pro-Israeli Congress and corporations and for protection and expansion of Israeli boundries.
We should stop being appologetic due to their lies, hate mongering driving fear in people, instead we should expose and spread the truth.
Since main stream media owned by big defence corporations run by Neocons who block news there are many websites like who are asking Americans to take back Democracy, Presidency and White House. Many websites are exposing lies about 911. Evil people plan but Allah (swt) plans better. Bring people with intelect and reason closer to join us. We all need to unite. Allah is testing us and giving this unique opportunity to unite, spread and revert people to Islam.
Allah knows Best. May Allah help and guide us, Ameen.

It's not first we heard such critics about Islam, and it will not stop untill the last of this world. Allah says, they'll never accept you (Muhammad and His followers)untill you follow thier religion.... to the end of Ayaht. That's clear indication that what ever we do they'll try to saboutage it. So, brothers & sister just keep what you're doing for sake Allah's acceptance, don't mind them one day Allah the almighty will ponish who ever egnor His blessing.....

Sorry but I disagree...with the call to dawah...not in the essence of it but purely on the emphasis it places to 'spread the message'. Have we as muslims not enough of those that 'spread the message'...those that engage in talk and more talking--the problem here is that in an age saturated with competing ideas...Islam represents just an idea to the masses, it just a concept albiet to the believers it represents the highest and most sublime of ideals.

The means to penetrate across the 'ideas' mountain should be based on ACTION. This is the call to ISLAM--the things that set ISLAM apart from all else is the empashis on 'belief with action'--that's where the supriority of it lies. You cannot convince people or change their beliefs by talking to them...this includes all muslims and non-muslims. To effectively change or transform our situation we as Muslims must not 'fight' out battles in the ideas dimension but must engage our efforts in the physical realm for this is where concrete long lasting results can be achieved. I contrast your article with Tariq Ramadan's--the disparity is talk about going out there and talking to people to change their perception of us because we are good people, and belive in a religion that means PEACE. Forgive me but the average person is quite astute and reductionist statements don't hold. Now Prof. R's monitorium on huddud is action oriented it calls for lobbying our 'ISLAMIC' governments to halt this punative punishment...message is clear: ACT! Very specific very defined...the headlines one day, inshallah, would read: 'Muslims worldwide stop capital punishment...value life'I could go on to other areas 'Innovative muslim thinking saves environment' but I think you get the gist.

I am not surprised...What do you expect from alcholic western population....TO them drinking and nudism = high spirit + modern + civlized....

Very sad group of people (most of them, not all)

This state of affairs is present all over the world including the so called "Muslim" countries. Muslims are persecuted all over the world, as Jesus is believed to have said in the gospel to his followers:"They will hate you and bring you before magistrates and condemn you without evidence, for my sake." Oh, yeah, and Jesus' sake was that of Elah or Ilah which means God in English. So, who would be those people? The so called Christians claim that it would be them. I say, it can't be true since nobody persecutes Christians for their believes on the scale it was prophesized. Then who these people are? I say, the people of GITMO, those in detention held without charge. Those innocent killed in the name of democracy all over the Holy Land and non-white lands! Oh,yeah, these people are definitely the Muslims. Jesus Christ was a Muslim(Arabic for pacifist, or submited to the will of God), he said not once in the claimed gospel, "I do not speak from myself but rather from he one who sent me." I reiterate, "The One", since God is one. Jesus said also, "don't call me good, for One is could, the same that is in heaven." He said Rabi which was erronuously translated as father, a closer translation would be, Lord. In Islam we know about Jesus the Messiah, the servant of God and Jesus the Dajjal(Arabic for Deceiver). Whoever worships Jesus as God in fact worships the Dajjal, for God is one and above all reality which is just His creation. Therefor, if you say that Jesus walked on earth, that's reality, in other words a creation of God, therefore Jesus cannot be God, once he is reality and a creation. God is not a reality, He is the creator of it. God is beyond reality and beyond demention. We humans cannot perceive God, we are part of reality or His creation. God can perceive us but we cannot perceive or understand aught of God's exixtence. We understand and perceive His reality/creation and the knowledge He allowed us to have is either for us to prosper or against us to perish.

I agree. Sumaira mention about learning Arabic, yes, I agree the courses are expensive.This website might get you started,

i agree,with the writer,but my question is what will be the next step? or where should we start for doing dawah in NON-Muslim sisters? specially for starters!!

we all r muslims and so we should act as also like muslims. espacially those muslims living in the non-muslim countries should act like a true muslim this can be a muslims half Dawa'at and the rest is on saying or preaching. we all should unite as one Brother Hood supporting each other every where and forgiving each other and try to show and prove that Islam is the true and the best religion in this world.
May Allah set us all on the right path.
Allah Hafiz

Don't forget that there is an even more insidious group that is attempting to promote "moderate or progressive Islam" that is the Progressive Muslims Union North America.

These people may not say it outright, but they have the same agenda as Pipes, and lable people extremists left and right.

See for details on this notorious group. They are worse than anything Pipes could dream up of.

The enemies of Islam are simply suffering from inferiority complex. How I wish they open up their minds towards Islam so as to see the beauties of the Religion and then appreciates the benefit the Muslims are enjoying. I pray for thei guidance. Truth is always constant.

We owe it to ourselves to educate, communicate non-muslims what Islam is all about. Let us show them what Muslims are by the way we live: how we recognize the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings. Let us treat women equally: I wish to witness women prayer leaders and a co-gender prayer congregation at Masjids.

I agree with the point of view. The biggest problem of the Ummah is the divide. Until we unite we are likely to remain in-effective.

Let us all make our first and formost priority Islam, and our identity as a Muslim.
And be open hearted to the Truth, the Right from where-ever we get it. We should promote brotherhood. Highlighting good things, and if observing any wrong correcting it in a best of manner.

Yes, Quran is the only thing which can glue us together, so everyone of us should making stronger relations with Quran, THE Book of Guidance. Learning Arabic is a key to being close to Quran and Ahadeeth, its a language of Islam.

We should not be ashamed of our islamic values. As these are the best thing, and Allah (SWT) has choose this Deen as a best for us.

May Allah (SWT) make us His true servants, His friends on Earth.



let me share you my one experience though I have dozons of negative expereinces.
I am a muslim female age 35. I was not used to wear hijab. Once I went to a pharmacy and the girl at the counter asked me if i am muslim and i noded in to agreement. She said but you do not look like them and I replied how do they look? she replied "they are un civilazed and love to cover thier hair and wear long dresses but you look modern." It was really annoying for me. At her back on the wall there was a picture of Jesus and Mary. I said to her " Look at that picture, how Mary wear her cloth and what is there on her head. Is it you Christains who are following her way of dressing or the muslims? I asked, and agian I asked do you think it was difficult at that time for Mary to cut her dress and make it like a mini skirt ? You hang her picture on the wall but we do not see you performing any of her acts. Thus, muslims are more willing to follow the examples of Mary than you people who claim that Mary is " Mother of God" and you love her very much.

From that day on, I started wearing Hijab and joined the accused " uncivilazed". (Alhamdulilah)
Sorry for my english

Wholeheartedly agree! I am an English revert to Islam and abide by Islamic customs only and am learning Arabic however I live in a largely Pakistani community who certainly put their ethnic origins first, hardly a woman in the community speaks English and the Imam in the community speaks neither Arabic or English. I am in complete isolation in the community, members do not communicate with me either because they can not or because they regard me as a strange "outsider." We should unite and regard ourselves as brothers and sisters in Islam. We have a duty to unite and educate those who have false ideas about our religion and its way of life. Farah

good article....yet at the same time...the same filtering mechanism that muslims in the middle east get from the america's and other "christian dominated" countries is from what i have heard from arab christains...MUCH more biased and untrue and hurtful for the ummah to completely understand other faiths without the best objective ear possible...

moreover....i encourage all be much much much more vocal on your objections to your extremists than you are right now...

that is one reason why the west thinks the way they do...because they see and experience your extremists...but little is said by the moderates about how the extremists are objecting to the true tenets of islam...

my humble opninion...speak up more in opposition to terrorism and hatred to the west and infedels...humble yourselves and admit that many in dar al islam have made mistakes in vocal in your opposition to extremism in your own ranks...

then and only than after we hear a loud cry from your people AGAINST your extreme brothers and sisters will our ("our" as in general) ears be more open to the true claims of islam...especially sura 3:118

oh did i quote that?

allahu akbar, sukran isa my lord and God


i think we must explain for anybody,specialy for us religion,we all didnt know like what god? maybe because that we different, i think if we all see him, world sure peace. now lets do it what we believe and dont push what you believe for us, because if we dead god not ask you moeslim or christian or hindu or budha, but god ash what you do ini the world, thank you for you book, salam,gbu

I appreciate the perfect article from sister Salwa. I have been encountering the opinion of some young American Muslims, who seems to be influenced in favour of an American defined Islam. It is due to ignorance from basic principles of Islam. Moreover, their passion has been engulfed by the cobweb of 11th incident. Ofcourse, the dark shadow of superstition on the actual face of Islam has unwillingly compelled our young generation to deviate from Islam. We need to present Islam crystal clear based on Quran & sunnah. One should draw lesson from sister Salwa, who has deep Islamic spirit inspite of the fact that she posses the highest modern education. Deep Islamic studies reveals that Islam never restricts higher studies, rather it promotes use of wisdom for the betterment of life. But ofcourse it always reminds to remember the almighty who is the only powerful and we are helpless unto him. Such thinking inculcates high moral character in human being and he will never do wrong. As sugested by sister salwa, Islam is the way of life, rather it is the globalised way of life. We should not mix up our teritorial culture with Islam. Where we talk about Islam, we should talk global and universal. Today world is talking about Globalisation(only in the context of Trade, may be taking is in broader sense at a later stage), whereas, we already have the great sense of 'Ummah'. We must try to revive the spirit strongly. Regards - sarfaraz

I must agree with the comments and point of this article. As a U.S. citizen and a practicing Christian I also have observed a negative attitude and understanding towards the Islamic Community. In part this is because of the falsities as well as the incorrect portrayal of Islam that is shown in the media. The media will only focus on those people who act in violence that are Muslim, but the media does not clarify that this is a minority population. The news media does not tell the entire story,nor does it attempt to promote an environment of understanding. Due to the media not portraying Islam in an accurate light,most people will develop generalities as well as stereotypes of the Islamic Faith. People in the U.S. also seem to be focused too much on rights instead of understanding and respect. Instead of trying to understand "head coverings",people claim it is a violation of a woman's right. Instead of trying to understand and respect the faith,people pick and choose versus from the Quran that speak of violence, but it is never explained in the media and such sources,that it is in matters of self defense. It is never explained that Islam promotes peace and submission to Allah. It is never explained that Muslims pray 5 times a day and their life is focused not on themselves,but on how they are to live their lives in submission to Allah, who is merciful. This an intentional failure of the U.S. media, so that they can get the ratings and viewings at the expense of truth. It is the same with the groups that are against Islam. Islam is not evil nor does it promote evil, but it is easier to use the small amount of people who murder and commit acts of terrorism in the name of Allah and Jihad without having to explain to people that the actions of these people is not the actions of the majority of faithful Muslims,nor is this the true meaning of Jihad. It is not the Islamic Community that has failed,but the community that chooses not to seek out the truth and depth of Islam.

My only problem with this article is that it seems to completly ignore the negatives that surround many Islamic countries with regard to their treatment of women... circumcision, 1/2 of Saudi Arabia can't drive, the high percentage of spousal abuse and many other things that are very real. No religion is free of failures associated with it and when we "wrap" ourselves in that religion (as Catholic nuns in full habit for example) we have to realize we will undoubtedly draw comments that are rooted in behaviors we ourselves are not guilty of but we will have associated with us and have nasty questions aimed at us due to the negative stereotypes bad behavior creates for all of us associated with that particular religion.

Alhamdulillah, this is a good article.