Distortions of our Religion - the current plague

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Apuesto
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Distortions of our Religion - the current plague

Postby Apuesto » 13 Jul 2012, 04:57

Salaams

I pray this finds everyone on this forum in the best of health

I am a recent joinee and have written an article i wish to share...

please read and project and forward so the message may spread

I would appreciate feedback in form of comments, criticisms, queries or anything else as we continue our struggle in preparing for the arrival of the Savior insh.

Duas and thanks;

Hussein Karim


Islam; A Violent, Oppressive and Men-empowering Religion? Or simply a misunderstood one?
Promoting Peaceful Co-existence in the light of distortions and misconceptions.

Hussein Karim
When you live in a closed society and community; following religious customs, traditions and requirements; our individual religions seem to be perfect and flawless. But when you venture out and live in a mixed society; with different people with different religious and cultural ideologies; you hear their views and outlooks towards that same belief and code of law you have lived by your entire life; and it may come as a huge shocker.
My name is Hussein Karim; and I am currently a student pursuing Medicine in Kasturba Medical College; a branch of Manipal University in Mangalore, Karnataka state; South India. I have lived in many places before inclusive of an entire year in Malaysia doing my pre-university.
On coming to India; and adjusting and settling into the society and community here; and meeting different people from different religious and cultural backgrounds; much has come to mind about the subject I write about today. I have friends ranging all different sects of Hinduism to all other types; some Christians; and Buddhists too. And in terms of cultural origins; I have friends from Punjabi’s, to Bengali’s, to Keralites; to East Indians; basically people from every cultural background in India.
Being a fan of the no discrimination policy; I have bonded here and acquired strong friendship bonds and some to levels of brotherhood too. We live together; study together; and enjoy and do a lot; respecting each other for our faith and sometimes even engaging in inter-faith discussions of productive and fruitful nature; asking questions on doubts and the like.
I have always been interested in Inter-faith dialogue and read the bible as well as the Quran; and have ventured upon the Gita a time or two. I have attended and still do attend mass in Churches; and have been to a Mandir (temple) a number of times with my friends; and have also participated and enjoined in celebrating Christmas; Diwali; Holi; Eid and more. Likewise; I have Hindu friends who fast with me in Ramadhan and enjoin and join me in many Islamic practices too.
I have always believed; faith and practice are very important; but in the end of the day; Humanity is the key. Every religion encourages its believers to be good; not to cheat or steal or lie; to help the needy; to be kind and compassionate; and more.
In my religion; interfaith relations and respect, love and no discrimination towards a fellow human being of any cultural or religious background has been spoken of numerously and hence the people who do know me well and live with me may vouch for the fact that in the end; we are all one.
So I seek the readers of this article; no matter which faith or religion you belong to; no matter what sect or culture; I write this article not to propagate or try and missionary my religion; rather I wish for you to read it with an open mind with no preconceptions or judgmental ideologies; so the point I wish to make is clear.
Now; The entire reason I write about this; is because it has struck me so hard about the image of my religion, Islam, in the hearts and minds of so many people; especially here in India. Distortions to the religious concepts and misunderstanding of some practices have caused the religion to be viewed with such negativity; it is a tough pill to swallow.
Before I continue on what these distortions are and elaborate more; I must first admit that it is very sad to see the sources of these distortions and the causes as to why people’s ideologies and mentalities change about this religion.
Firstly, The media; both local and international; trained by Western filters and the countries with islamophobic attitudes; filters and correctly modifies the news and the presentation of media through television, the internet and more to portray Muslims as terrorists and classify Islam as a terrorist religion filled with violence and oppression.
This is a well heard of concept and I will elaborate on it ahead. So this is the first source of distortions.
The second; and most important and sad; is the Muslims themselves. Especially here in India. I may not have seen the entire land; but I have seen enough to make this statement. In India; and a lot of places in the world; Muslims mix culture with religion in a wrong way; and through the misunderstanding of religious concepts and rules through ignorance; tend to follow Islam in a wrong way, not realizing they not only cause people to frown upon them; but to frown upon their religion and practice. At this juncture; I wish to give quotes from a Muslim scholar and a non-Muslim leader to elaborate my point. Ayatullah Aga Marashi Najafi; a renowned Muslim scholar had once said; “Islam is the best of religions; Muslims are the worse of followers.” And the renowned leader Mahatma Gandhi once said; “If it wasn’t for the Muslims; I would have been a Muslim.”.
I have seen how from a large scale impression involving Bollywood actors bearing Muslim names; to concepts exhibited in movies and shows; to the practices and behavior of Muslims themselves; the name of the religion faces distortion. For example; in the very recent movie, Teri meri kahani; how the father suggests to the actor Javed (Shahid Kapoor) of the 1910 era; that if he is in love with Aradhana; a Sikh girl; he can marry her later; first he should just do the Nikah with the Muslim girl presented in order to fulfill social responsibility. The father says, “You’re allowed four nah? Do this Nikah then you can marry the one you love.”
When I heard this; I was disgusted; that the concept has been misunderstood and distorted to such a high level by ignorant believers; that it is now broadcasted as such. A true shame on our part. Again; I will elaborate on this topic at a later stage.
Another example; of practical purpose:
A man walks into a mall; sporting 3 to 4 women; fully covered head to toe in seemingly uncomfortable fully black covering; some inclusive of face coverings; and a huge number of kids running around and seemingly uncontrollable; some women carrying small infants; the man walking ahead presented as the powerful head of family. This in itself distorts so many concepts; that make people think of Islam wrongly. No blame or offense to any members of the community; but ignorance in our societies causes this a lot. The concept of polygamy; hijab and more have already been wrongly shown in this example here; that anyone in Mangalore may have seen when stepping out. I shall pursue this in depth and hopefully create an understanding as I analyze each concept in depth.

This statement I make is in no way an accusation or offense to my Muslim brothers and sisters; rather an eye opener for all of us, me inclusive, about our following our religion in its essence or mixing our own community created concepts with it leading to misunderstandings and distortions in it.
And lastly; a combined source of the above two sources is the infiltration of parties that claim to be Muslim societies; but rather are extremist groups; like well-known terrorist organizations and groups or denominations who call themselves safeguards of Islam; yet do not represent 95% of normal, God-fearing Muslims; whose actions simply distort the name of the religion; through oppression and through violence; they portray their own selfish, extremist and soulless selves in the name of the beautiful religion. Their presence may be known and felt in the Middle East; but what people do not know is that they have infiltrated every sector and community; worldwide; from the West to the East; and continue to pollute minds and mislead people. A huge infiltration is in Pakistan as well; where extremist activities then occur onto India simply because of these people. A classic example I wish to use here is from Bollywood itself; where in the recent movie, “My name is Khan”, the Doctor sitting in the mosque misleading and wrongly arousing the youth and Muslims is of extremist nature and we see that he is rebelled upon and stopped by the main character Khan himself; in the movie, a Muslim too.
These are few of the major sources that distort the religion to a level that is saddening.
I wish to touch on some very important concepts that I feel are wrongly exhibited to a very high level; and hopefully clear them out in the mindsets of my Non-Muslims brothers and sisters; simply with the aim to present to you and show you what my religion truly proclaims and stands for; and not what is projected of it.

All in the effort to promote peaceful co-existence and renewed faith and conviction; and make this world a better place; as said by Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s): “He who is not your brother in faith; he is your equal in Humanity.” Meaning they should not be discriminated or treated with contempt.
Alas, one can only do his part; I request every reader of this article to project it forth as far and wide as possible, both Muslim and Non-Muslim brothers and sisters; to at least understand and coexist with each other knowing the true essence and beauty of each other’s faith and belief rather than wrong and false misconceptions.
Next articles coming up soon; titled:

1. Polygamy in Islam; Is it four for one or one for four? What’s the price of it?
2. The concept of Hijab; an oppressive device or a protective one?
3. Jihad; translated as Holy War; Suicide bombing and Terrorism or is there an innate depth to it?

Stay tuned; and let us remember each other in our prayers; wishes and glad tidings.
Hussein.
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sadika
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Re: Distortions of our Religion - the current plague

Postby sadika » 14 Aug 2013, 19:39

i like dis article

it talks abt a complicated issue in very simple words
u shud write more apuesto

btw wat does apuesto mean?
Sadika - A Muslimah in search of the truth

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