In discussing the myths that people have about Islam, it is more than likely that there are more than five. In addition to this, the myths people believe about this religion are both from the adherents to the faith and also those who are not followers of Islam. To make matters even more complicated, the ideologies of Western thinking and Middle Eastern thinking have muddied the waters. Last but not least, the current acts of terror in the name of Allah do not serve well in understanding this religion.
So we will discuss five of the top myths that are most likely on the minds of most Westerners, if not Americans in general. These myths are discussed below.
Islam is Tolerant of other Faiths
A lot of media presentations has attempted to portray Islam as a religion that is extremely tolerant of other faiths. Much has been discussed the afflictions of the crusades purporting Islam as the victim in this struggle. However, a deeper look will show Islam as not only intolerant but also aggressive in its mission.
However, the understanding of the word “tolerant” is important. As long as people submit to Allah, sharia, settlement or jihad, then yes, they are tolerant. The basic tenants of tolerance for Islam would be to convert, pay a tax or be eliminated. The crusades were in many ways a response against this after more than 300 years of Islamic “tolerance”.
There are two mantras on the Islamic faith:
1. There is no god but Allah
2. Mohammed is his messenger
This means that worshiping any other god besides Allah and accepting any message that did not come from Mohammed is well, somewhat intolerable.
Islam is a Religion of Peace
Islam, under the prophet Mohammed, was started partially as a religion of military aggression. Apparently, Mohammed himself organized 65 military campaigns and was the leader of 27 of them. Even after the death of Mohammed, there was internal fighting among his closest followers and even among his own family. The result was more than one was murdered. To assume that a Muslim would not turn against another Muslim denies the history of what happened at the very genesis of this religion.
The battle for the heart and soul of Islam was to wage war against Christians, Persians, Jews and any other polytheists such as Hindus. These were Mohammed’s parting instructions. Basically, to eliminate any competition! Over the next few centuries after the death of Mohammed, more than half of the Christian world had been conquered by Muslims. This included parts of Africa. The crusades were a response to this tyrannical invasion!
Islam is not compatible with Terrorism
The truth of the matter is that Islam does not encourage the killing of innocent people. Of course, this gets complicated when one then has to define what is meant by an innocent person. The best way to look at this is you are innocent if you convert to Islam and submit to its teachings.
Well, since there are approximately 1.2 billion Muslims in the world that would stand to reason that the other 6 billion or so of people on the planet are not “innocent”. Now a way around this is to be a person of the book- a Christian or a Jew, who is willing to submit to Islamic rule and pay a tax. Other than that, well you are not innocent.
What most people will see as “terrorism” in our world today, with mass killings and bombings, is not considered “terrorism” to a serious follower of Islam. It is just the elimination of all “non-innocent” people.
Jihad means Inner Struggle
Well, yes, it does mean inner struggle. That is about as far as the agreement goes. Even among Islamic scholars, there is no agreement. It can mean to strive, or to have a determined effort. It can mean inner struggle with oneself, or it can mean in a greater context the outer struggle against all who oppose Allah.
Jihad has had such a varied meaning over the last millennia that it appears to not be easily defined. However, the Islamic Supreme Council of America has given us a more clear definition.v According to them, Jihad has the internal and external components to be a good Muslim. If it is a military jihad used to protect the faith against others, it can be performed using anything. However, we do refer you to this reference as they explain in more detail what jihad is and is not.
Islam respects the equality of Men and Women
Although efforts have been made to demonstrate that men and women are equal under Islam, the evidence does not support this. Mohammed himself would take captured women and give them out to men as bounties of war. They were made into sex slaves. The Quran allows for a Muslim master to have full sexual access to these slaves. Basically, a thorough reading of the Quran would show that women just do not have the same rights as men under the Islamic faith. Any display to the contrary, as is done in America is mainly due to Western laws that prohibit such practices.