In light of Abu Hamza's recent incarceration regarding inciting religious hatred (amongst many other charges), I thought now would be a good time to write my first article on Newsvine in an attempt to maintain a balance. Before I begin, I want to say outright that I am not a religious man and the following article should not be taken as a vein attempt, on my part, to preach Islam to the masses. Instead, I would like to share the discoveries I made during casual readings of Islam. I hope you enjoy....
- Christianity, Judaism and Islam are branches off the same religious tree. As a result, all three religions pray to the same God. Infact, the prophet Abraham is recognised as a prophet in Islam, as is (shock, horror!), Jesus. The active methods of practicing each religion are different but the core principles are the same.
- The world 'Allah' simply means God, and the God that Muslims refer and pray to is the same God that Jews and Christians pray to. The reason why Muslims use the word Allah instead of God is because the word 'God' implies gender e.g. God (male) and Goddess (female). Muslims believe that God is a being that no human can comprehend and is therefore genderless. In addition, Christians who have been born in Saudi Arabia (and believe me, there are millions) also refer to God as Allah because there is no other word in Arabic that describes the almighty.
- The word 'Jihad' does not mean Holy War. It simply means 'personal struggle'. For example, I was studying my MSc a little over a year ago, at that time, my 'Jihad', was in fact, my MSc.
- Muslims believe life started with Adam and Eve! Also, they do not believe in Original Sin.
- Islam condemns the killing of women and children no matter what the circumstances, including in times of war. It doesn't take a genius to realise that hundreds and thousands of women and children were killed on September 11th 2001, and continue to be killed in Iraq. Clearly, the people doing this cannot be called Muslims.
- The struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians is exactly that, a struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians; this is a national issue and not a religious one. I witnessed evidence of this myself when I drove passed a protest against the occupation of Palestine and was surprised to see at least ten or so followers of the Jewish faith standing side-by-side with Muslims. I completely believe that this issue will eventually be resolved in a peaceful manner and progress is being made everyday.
- As a Muslim, Osama bin Laden is NOT my hero. Why, you may ask? Well apart from the obvious, the Fatwa that he declared against the Western world stated that Muslims living in the Western world are legitimate targets. This means that Osama Bin Laden does not see a difference between a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu etc. so, in his eyes, we are all equally legitimate targets.
I came across the above findings during my casual readings of Islam. I am not a religious man but I am a man of common sense. When I started hearing and seeing the information being distributed by the media regarding the Islamic religion I stopped and asked myself, "Can this be true? Can a religion really preach so much hatred and legitimise the killings of innocent civilians?". My initial reaction was, "No, it can't as all religions preach peace and harmony, bar none.", which is what drove me to learn more. I guess the moral of the story is, don't believe everything you read or hear.
Unfortunately we are surrounded by prejudice. While many readers may think this post is directed at the Anglo-Christians of this world you will be amazed to learn that there are many Muslims that aren't even aware of the above information. I have come across many Anglo-Christians who are prejudice against Muslims and Jews as well as Muslims who are prejudice against Anglo-Christians and Jews. This clearly shows that both sides are equally guilty of being ignorant of the real facts of Islam.