As Salaamu Alaikum (peace be upon you) and howdy all.
Since Islam is front and center in the news nowadays, I thought I would touch on some of the hot-button issues and misconceptions that people have about Islam. I’m going to make a list here, then break it down one issue at a time. This set of posts will be helpful to non-Muslims, but hopefully helpful to my brothers and sisters in Islam as well. Seriously, if you as a Muslim cannot answer when a non-Muslim asks “Does Islam oppress women?”, then you need to get your butt in gear and go study. This is not just academic for us as Muslims. We need to learn, and then live the lessons. Book learnin’ is a start; it cannot be an end in and of itself.
So, here is a short, non-exhaustive list of what we Muslims hear from non-Muslims ALL the time. Sometimes the statements or questions are friendly and inquisitive; they can also be defensive and snarky. Other times they arepresented in an insulting manner as fact. You know what? Regardless, I will do my best to answer in an honest and compassionate manner. Maybe if I don’t return snark for snark, that will allow someone to actually hear what I’m saying and may make him think.
1. Muslims worship a moon god; Muslims don’t worship the same God as Christians and Jews.
2. Muslims are supposed to force people to become Muslim and kill all non-believers – “infidels”.
3. Muslims oppress women.
4. Muslims don’t believe in Jesus.
5. Muslims are allowed to lie in order to hide their true beliefs.
6. Muslims approve of terrorism.
7. Muslims will chop off someone’s hand for stealing.
8. The sentence in Islam for apostasy is death.
9. Muhammad (pbuh) had a thing for young girls (I hate to even write this, but it’s out there so I have to deal with it).
10. Islam is not compatible with Western values.
Wow, that’s quite a top-ten list. I will deal with each issue in an individual blog post, inshaAllah (if Allah wills), so please bear with me as I try to give adequate response to each accusation.
I am a Muslim. You are getting the information straight from the camel’s mouth. If you are intellectually honest, you will believe me, a Qur’an-carrying, headscarf-wearing Muslim rather than some pundit on Fox News.
I will lead you to water, but you have to have the courage to drink, and the honesty not to declare the water to be something else.