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"Asserting that Islam embodied a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance, U.S. President Barack Obama said here on Sunday that the religion was being "distorted" by a few extremists. Mr. Obama was responding to a student who invited his opinion on jihad during his town hall style meeting at Mumbai's... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is “al-Salaam,” which is “peace” in Arabic. The Truth: An Arabic word only has one root. The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.” There is no controversy about this among Islamic scholars.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: The Qur’an places men and women on equal foundation before Allah. Each person is judged according to his or her own deeds. Women have equal rights under Islamic law. The Truth: Merely stating that individuals will be judged as such by Allah does not mean that they have... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Islam’s Western apologists sometimes claim that since the Arabic word, Jihad, literally means “fight” or “struggle,” it refers to an “inner struggle” rather than holy war. The Truth: In Arabic, "jihad" means struggle. In Islam, it means holy war. The Qur’an specifically exempts the disabled and elderly from... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Muhammad was a peaceful man who taught his followers to be the same. Muslims lived peacefully for centuries, fighting only in self-defense - and when it was necessary. True Muslims would never act aggressively. The Truth: Muhammad organized 65 military campaigns in the last ten years of his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Religious minorities have flourished under Islam. Muslims are commanded to protect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book) and do them no harm. The Qur'an says in Sura 109, "To you, your religion. To me, mine." The Truth: Religious minorities have not “flourished” under Islam. In fact,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine. On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Islam is intolerant of enslaving human beings. The religion eradicated the institution of slavery thanks to the principles set in motion by Muhammad, who was an abolitionist. The Truth: There is not the least bit of intolerance for slavery anywhere in the Qur’an. In fact, the “holy” book... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism. It is against Islam to kill innocent people. The Truth: Islam does prohibit killing innocent people. Unfortunately, you don't qualify. Even though many Muslims earnestly believe that their religion prohibits the killing of innocent people by acts of terrorism, the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Islam is compatible with democratic principles. The religion itself is a democracy. The Truth: A democracy is a system in which all people are judged as equals before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender. The vote of every individual counts as much as the vote of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: The Qur'an is to Muslims what the Bible is to Christians (and the Torah to Jews). The Truth: The Qur'an only contains what is presented as the literal words of Allah - as relayed by Muhammad. It can be compared to a manufactured text that includes only the words of Jesus (the so-called "red-letter" verses) extracted from their New Testament historical context and then randomly mixed together (the chapters of the Qur'an are arranged by size and themes are rarely consistent even within each chapter). By contrast, the Bible contains history and biographical detail. For example, there is nothing in the Qur'an that details Muhammad's life, whereas the Bible contains four books that present all that is known about the biography of Jesus. Another distinction is that when the Bible commands violence - as it does in a handful of Old Testament verses - the intended target is explicitly defined within the passage, leaving little doubt that it is a recounting of history and not an open-ended command for anyone else to do the same. Despite the rhapsody with which Muslims sing the Qur'an's praises, there is an obvious reason why only a minority have actually bothered to delve deeper than an occasional sporadic perusal through its pages. The random arrangement of verses and near absence of context makes it difficult to understand. For this reason the Qur'an is rarely printed without the incorporation of voluminous commentary (that usually expresses the personal preferences of the translator). In fact, the Muslim counterpart to the Bible is the Qur'an, Hadith and Sira combined. The Hadith is a collection of anecdotes and historical snippets of Muhammad's life based on the relayed narrations of those who lived with him. Unfortunately, authenticity varies. But the most dependable compilers are agreed by Muslims scholars to be Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, followed by Abu Dawud. It is on the Hadith that Islamic law (Sharia) is based. The Sira is the biography of Muhammad's life. Again, there are reliability issues which would appear somewhat bewildering to Christians, given that the gospels were well in place within the first few centuries following the crucifixion - which preceded Muslim history by over 600 years. Still, the most reliable biography of Muhammad was compiled by Ibn Ishaq, who wrote about 150 years after his death. His original work survives only in what was "edited" by a later translator (Ibn Hisham, who admitted that he filtered out several accounts that were of a distasteful nature). A failure to recognize that the Bible is only comparable to the Qur'an, Hadith and Sira together often leads to faulty accusation and misplaced analysis. Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Muslims often claim that their religion fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, “paving the way” for modern advances in technology and medicine. On this topic, they usually refer to the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, when Europe was experiencing its “Dark Ages” and the Muslim... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
The Myth: Religious minorities have flourished under Islam. Muslims are commanded to protect Jews and Christians (the People of the Book) and do them no harm. The Qur'an says in Sura 109, "To you, your religion. To me, mine." The Truth: Religious minorities have not “flourished” under Islam. In fact,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at Islamagenda's blog
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