Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World

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Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World Empty Islam: Misunderstood throughout the World

Post by Jibrail on Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:52 am

James A. Bill (professor of government and director of the Reves Center for International Studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia) writes - 'By the turn of the century, for the first time in history, the number of Muslims (those who practice Islam) will have surpassed the number of Christians in the world.

Islam is a monotheistic religion, civilization and way of life now practiced by 1.1 billion people. Easily the world's fastest growing religion, Islam is not confined to the Middle East. It is a truly universal force. More Muslims live in America today than all the Presbyterians and Episcopalians put together.

There are more than 1,200 mosques in the United States and 1000 mosques in England, where the Muslim community has established its own national parliament. There are more Muslims in Indonesia than in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia put together. More live in Malaysia than in Jordan, Lebanon and Kuwait combined. Nearly 20 million Muslims live in China.

Wherever one looks, Islam is on the move. As the people of many societies find themselves rootless, disconnected and alienated, they increasingly seek help in a comforting Islamic ideological refuge. In a world of incoherent violence, widening inequities, political corruption and shattered families, many are massing behind the green flag of Islam. This is essentially a populist movement, a bubbling up from below, a march of the distressed, the dispossessed and the oppressed. ....

… Although the great bulk of Muslims seek to improve their status through quiet, moderate and pacific means, violent methods have been adopted by fringe groups—elements also present in Christianity and Judaism. Oblivious to their own profound ignorance and often harboring crude political motivations, many Western opinion leaders consistently label all Muslims with words such as 'aggressive', 'militant' and 'uncivilized'. Islam is the 'religion of the sword'; Muslim activists are 'terrorists,' and Muslims countries that challenge Western policies are 'outlaw states'.

Muslims themselves maintain quite a different worldview. It is in the deepest interest of the United States to attempt to understand this perspective. In brief, Muslims see themselves as the afflicted, not the afflictors; they feel themselves desperately on the defensive, not on the offensive; they consider themselves the objects of violence, not the initiators of violence. In sum, Muslims across the world consider themselves victims. In support of their position, Muslims will take their Christian and Jewish neighbors on a quick tour of the world. They inevitably begin with Bosnia, where nearly 200,000 Muslims have been slaughtered by Serbian Christians. Muslims are horrified and sickened by the fact that 22,000 Muslim women, aged 9 to 82, have been raped by Christian troopers. Muslims wonder privately about the weak and very late Western response.

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Jibrail
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