Dear Reader/Citizen of the World,
One of the most renowned American authors, Willa Cather, once said in her book O, Pioneers! that: “People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” I believe that that is the case here. Quite obviously, no Muslims are accusing other Muslims of being terrorists; that would be ludicrous and illogical. No, it’s the people of other religions constantly barraging them—Zayn included—of the terrorism accusation. What they’re scared of is the Taliban; what they’re scared of is what they don’t understand. Since the Taliban are Muslim, the automatic assumption of far too many is that all Muslims are like that group. That’s a bit like saying all Christians are Catholic, or all Jews are of the conservative sects: it’s ridiculous to say that, because we know it’s not true. The religion of Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with worship, generosity, and peace. I may not be Muslim, but I do know the basics of the religion, taken from government and educational websites, for any skeptics. I just want to help those of you that are scared—and it’s not shameful: the unknown can be terrifying sometimes, but that gives one no reason to torture it—understand; I won’t delve far into the religion, partly because I can’t, and partly because I don’t want to confuse others. This’ll be quick, and in bullet points, so as to be easier to understand. I hope you enjoy. :-)
· Was founded by Muhammad (b. about AD 570): he is the prophet of Islam’s one god, in this religion
· Is monotheistic, meaning Muslims worship one god, called Allah
· Has a story to Muhammad: he became a respected businessman, as a side note, and embraced what Christians and Jews were already doing: worshipping one god. In the religion of Islam, they believe that Muhammad was visited by the archangel Gabriel, who told him the word of God while he was meditating
· Holy book is the Koran (spelled the English way), which can also be spelled Qur’an and Quran; the hadith (record of sayings and customs of Muhammad and followers) also provides basic law
· Has no established hierarchy
· Is split into two main sects today: Sunnis and Shiites
· Has five pillars of belief: declaration of faith; daily prayer five times a day, facing the direction of Mecca; charity to the needy; daytime fasting during Ramadan; and the hajj, a pilgrimage made to Mecca (their holy city, containing the Kaaba) by those who are able
That is the basics of Islam: I told you I wouldn’t delve very deeply into the religion, just enough to evoke understanding. Now, tell me: do people whose very faith pushes them to do charity work, five times to pray, and a holy pilgrimage sound like killers?
No. No, they do not.
****If you are a Muslim, and I got something wrong, please tell me. I won’t be offended; rather, I’d be worried you were.****
Video: “Unity in Islam.” It’s a very cool, very inspirational speech, put into kinetic typography. Please just watch it; I loved it, personally.