What is “True Islam?”
This question is more figurative than literal, however it’s one that I often contemplate. Not that I don’t know the answer, but its the question and the implications of that question that I ponder most. Who defines Islam and to whom?
As a convert or some may say revert, many often assume that my belief are somehow not “as” pure or “as” genuine of what many call “true” Muslims. For many, the “true” Muslim lives in the Middle East. Certainly this is a fallacy for many reasons, the problem with this fallacy, is that as a Muslim community we have allowed a situation to arise where others define our religion for us.
As a believing body, I believe that we have to institutionalize and take back our image and definition of what Islam truly is. Often, in the midst of heated debate with non-Muslims I am often challenged with this “true Muslim” mantra. Somehow, many non-Muslims have be lead to believe that if your a convert or non-Arab, your Islam is not “pure” or “true” enough. Obviously, there’s many levels of hypocrisy in that belief, because that would mean that unless your Palestinian Christians, your not “Christian” enough, however, I won’t beat the dead horse about the obvious hypocrisy Muslims especially in America, are challenged with these days.
My overall point in context is this, unless we come together as an Islamic community and vigorously combat the false images and propaganda about Islam, we further harm ourselves in the long run.
Im not sure how we do this. Im not really sure we can even convince those who have already found solice in their hate of all things Muslim or Islam, however, we have to try. We have to roll our sleeves up and not be afraid to get dirty.
Personally, I get tired of the oft repeated accusation that “true” Muslims live in the Middle East, or that some Iraqi, Saudi, etc. said Muslims in America, especially the African American ones, are not “true” Muslims. Granted, this is a personal grievance, however Im not totally convinced that my experience is unique either.
In my personal opinion, I believe the practicing Muslims are more likely to be found outside the Middle East. I won’t use terms like “true” or “false” Muslims, because Allah (swt) alone is the judge for mankind. I know that if one believes in Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw), then one is on the true path.
We have to get this message out, it would be better for us all. What is “True” Islam? Is it the suicide bomber? Or is it the Muslims fighting to save lives? Is it the terrorist? Or is it the humanitarian? Is Islam merely wearing beards, kufis, and hijab? Or is Islam going to work, taking care of your family, and being kind, truthful, and honest? Is Islam calling the West “the Great Satan” or non-Muslims “Infidels”? Or is Islam welcoming non-Muslims specifically Jews and Christians into the Mosques and into our homes for diaglogue, worship, and friendship?
There is a growing feeling in America and the West that Islam is a violent religion that promotes intolerance. Of course, this is excluding the facts that the majority of Muslims live in diverse, peaceful, societies. However, the facts are escaping the masses, that are begining to call for our slaughter wholesale. We are now being called the “silent majority” who by our silence somehow shows that we are in agreement with extremists and terrorists. However, the truth and facts remain that there are thousands of Fatwas, scholars, Muftis, councils, organizations, who for many years have condemned all acts of terror as Haram (unlawful). So it’s not that we are silent, its that the word is being confined to books, letters, and the internet, therefore you have to do what most hate to do: read.
My fellow brothers and sisters, we all know that these ideas against Islam and Muslims are false and blantant hypocrisy, and we know that the same measure would never be used by the accusers for themselves, however that is the mindset we live amongst.
Maybe its hightime we call them on their hypocrisy, maybe we should ask for the mass protest of Christians, Jews, etc. everytime a crime is commited in a 74% “Christian” nation. They love to say “all terrorists are Muslim” because the majority of said acts are commited by those who say they are Muslim. Well we should remind them that by the same standard, all thieves, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, adulterers, criminals, etc. are Christian. I mean afterall, in a country with this much crime, yet is 74% Christian, odds are the guilty are more likely to be Christian than Muslim right? The same goes for Europe as well.
We need to start taking our identity back and pushing forth agendas, initiatives, resolutions, etc. forward that will put us in a strong position in order to live without fear. We need to be able to live without the fear of flying, driving, walking, living, etc. while Muslim.
We are not dealing with reasonable people on either side, whether Muslim radical or non-Muslim radical, so we may have to come to a point where we deal with both according to the way they deal with us.