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Jun
02

Opening Our Doors: Countering Negative Images of Islam

By Sis. Aisha Sharif-MuhammadTerrorist! Anti-American! Foreigner!

One of the simplest gestures we as Muslims can do is to invite a friend, co-worker, or extended family member to the Masjid or to an Islamic event. Why not let our friends and family see real, peaceful Muslims, right here in Kansas City? Why not invite others to Jumah or even to a community picnic to experience our kindness, humor, and joyful spirit? This simple form of dawah can also reveal to others that being a Muslim and loving America is not a contradiction. Visitors will feel the warmth we know Islam encourages amongst communities. Maya Angelou once said “that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And hopefully after having been welcomed into our space, visitors will remember that we made them feel the true spirit of Islam. 

 

These are just some of the words that many non-Muslims think of when forming opinions about Muslims. In a post 9-11 world, Muslims are rarely connected with anything positive in the public’s eye. But as Muslims, we know that the perception is based on the horrible actions of a few ruthless individuals who claim to be Muslims but have unfortunately “hijacked” our beautiful religion for their own selfish, political gain. We as Muslims know how to differentiate between what radical Muslim clerics preach and what Islam actually says because we read the Quran and know the ways of the Prophet (PBUH). However, non-Muslims only know what they are told by the news. Inundated with images of the Taliban and reports of suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans only see Muslims as crazy, violent foreigners. So how can we counter this mis-information? These are just some of the words that many non-Muslims think of when forming opinions about Muslims. In a post 9-11 world, Muslims are rarely connected with anything positive in the public’s eye. But as Muslims, we know that the perception is based on the horrible actions of a few ruthless individuals who claim to be Muslims but have unfortunately “hijacked” our beautiful religion for their own selfish, political gain. We as Muslims know how to differentiate between what radical Muslim clerics preach and what Islam actually says because we read the Quran and know the ways of the Prophet (PBUH). However, non-Muslims only know what they are told by the news. Inundated with images of the Taliban and reports of suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans only see Muslims as crazy, violent foreigners. So how can we counter this mis-information?

 

These are just some of the words that many non-Muslims think of when forming opinions about Muslims. In a post 9-11 world, Muslims are rarely connected with anything positive in the public’s eye. But as Muslims, we know that the perception is based on the horrible actions of a few ruthless individuals who claim to be Muslims but have unfortunately “hijacked” our beautiful religion for their own selfish, political gain. We as Muslims know how to differentiate between what radical Muslim clerics preach and what Islam actually says because we read the Quran and know the ways of the Prophet (PBUH). However, non-Muslims only know what they are told by the news. Inundated with images of the Taliban and reports of suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans only see Muslims as crazy, violent foreigners. So how can we counter this mis-information?

These are just some of the words that many non-Muslims think of when forming opinions about Muslims. In a post 9-11 world, Muslims are rarely connected with anything positive in the public’s eye. But as Muslims, we know that the perception is based on the horrible actions of a few ruthless individuals who claim to be Muslims but have unfortunately “hijacked” our beautiful religion for their own selfish, political gain. We as Muslims know how to differentiate between what radical Muslim clerics preach and what Islam actually says because we read the Quran and know the ways of the Prophet (PBUH). However, non-Muslims only know what they are told by the news. Inundated with images of the Taliban and reports of suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan, many Americans only see Muslims as crazy, violent foreigners. So how can we counter this mis-information?

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