An American Islam
Why Hatred of Islam Is Not Logical
Would a "barbarian cult" of violence and war produce the writers, poets and philosophers of the Islamic world? Would a "barbarian cult" produce the beautiful architecture of southern Spain that stands to this day? Would a "barbarian cult" produce the poetry of Rumi, who is the best-selling poet in the United States for many years now? Would a "barbarian cult" preserve the writing of the ancient Greeks, writings that St. Thomas Aquinas used to formulate his philosophy?
Of course not.
Some claim that Al Qaeda is the "true face" of Islam, the reality of what Islam stands for. This is patently false. Muslims all over the world overwhelmingly have rejected the philosophy and tactics of Al Qaeda, because of Islam and its teachings. Osama bin Laden himself fretted over the brutality of Al Qaeda and its alienation of Muslims everywhere.
Some claim that the Arab Spring and the overthrow of regimes all across the Arab world are due to Al Qaeda. This is absolutely absurd. The popular uprisings all across the Arab world are a loud and clear rejection of Al Qaeda and its philosophy.
Why Islam has endured
Throughout its history, the Muslim majority world has faced many a crisis, both from within and without. Through all them, the Islamic faith has endured. Islam has endured as a source of comfort, strength, faith and spiritual renewal for more than a billion people. This is because of its message of peace and tolerance, love and brotherhood, faith and service, charity and altruism.
Yes, there are Muslim extremists who use Islam to justify their barbarism. Yes, there are some Muslims who do all the terrible things that people say "all Muslims" do. But, they are extremists, criminals and murderers. They do not represent the whole.
If you quote the Quran out of context, or misquote it, or quote some medieval text of Islamic jurisprudence, you can make Islam out to be the "cult of the devil." But it would no more represent the truth about Islam than pedophile priests represent the truth about the Catholic Church. It is an illogic of hatred. Would that more people see through this illogic and reject it.
Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago-based physician and writer. He is author of, most recently, Noble Brother: The Story of the Prophet Muhammad in Poetry (Faithful Word Press). You can follow Hesham Hassaballa on Facebook.