About a day or two ago, my coworker and I got into a rather “heated” conversation over Islam and its teachings, stereotypes, and his overall bigotry. He is firm in his stance that all people who are of Arab descent and follow the teachings of Islam are terrorists, they are violent and so on. To this, I responded how most normal people would, politely disagreeing with that completely incorrect assumption. Although I am not Muslim, I have been taught that Islam is a religion of peace and one of the main teachings in the Quran is the message of peace. With that being said, I thought it would be better to get my answer from a primary source, a Muslim named Kadija Osman, who just happens to be a writer here at Affinity. In today’s article, you will be reading an interview I did with her about common misconceptions pertaining to Islam and people who practice its beliefs.
So the first misconception, Muslims don’t believe in Jesus and are not interested in him.
“Okay so that is false, we do believe in Jesus, he is one of our top 5 prophets but we call him Isa Ibn Maryam which translates to Jesus, son of Mary. Regarding him being relevant in Islam, he very much is because Muslims believe that Jesus is of a virgin birth and that he is the prophet and messenger of God. In our teachings that he never dies on the cross, but rather he was lifted up to God himself. He is the Messiah and will return to restore order and peace to the world.”
So not only do you believe in Jesus, but he is an important figure as well?
“That is correct.”
Okay then. Next misconception I’ve seen thrown out there a lot is all Muslims are Arab and come from the Middle East.
“That is most definitely not true. There are millions of Christians who are Arab. One of the first people to become Muslim was a Black Ethiopian by the name of Bilal so that alone debunks the theory that all Arabs are Muslim”
And isn’t it true that a large portion of the world’s Muslim population lives in Asian countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh?
“Absolutely! Africa has a large Muslim population as well.”
Okay, here’s the biggest misconception in my opinion, ‘Muslims support violence and terrorism.’
“That is incorrect, as the Quran states in chapter 5 verse 32, ‘Whoever so kills an innocent soul, it is as if they have killed all of mankind and whoever so saves an innocent soul it is as if they have saved all of mankind’. Also, there are Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) such as ‘A Muslim is he whose hands and tongue people are safe from’. What people have to understand is that Islam is a way of life and therefore it encompasses every aspect of life, including warfare. What ISIS and so-called groups are doing completely goes against the doctrines of warfare. Islam is not a pacifistic religion when it is time to defend yourself, you have to defend yourself. If someone were to break into your house in the middle of the night and kill your wife and children, it makes sense that you would defend your rights, your family, and your wealth. Christianity has a saying that ‘if you get slapped on one cheek give the other’, Islam, however, teaches ‘If you get slapped on one cheek then you have a right to slap back but it is better to forgive’. Also, in Islam there is no concept of ‘collateral damage’, it is forbidden in war to kill innocents, period. The rules and regulations set down by our Prophet during war are as follows: