Cartoons and VideoclipsIslam and Society


Are these the people of Islam?

Migration in Islam is allowed under four circumstances – to spread Islam, to seek useful knowledge with the intention to go back and benefit your own people, for business (but this has to be very limited according to Shariah law) and to escape fitnah and hardship i.e. religious persecution. In reality, majority of Muslim immigrants do not fall into any of these categories. They were instead motivated to flee their economic hardships in search of better opportunities.

Are they really the people of Islam: those who are seeking to establish and spread the glory of Islam? Are there Islamic leaders and scholars amongst them, or do these people carry with them a skeleton of Islam, which is full of gaps and wrong understanding?

Islam therefore has become a cultural label, rather than a proper practice. With the birth of the second generation Muslims, the knowledge of Islam was further corrupted and watered down. Islamic manners and behaviour were not taught, and in fact, many of the children are badly raised and have poor manners, adopting neither the positive values of their own culture nor those of the new one.

Unfortunately, a number of these naturalised immigrants do not display proper Islamic behaviour. Although they are not representative of the whole Muslim population, their Western hosts perceive them as the embodiment of Islamic values. To generalise, what the hosts see are a people with dishonest habits, lacking in consideration, spiritually poor, and without even a proper sense of manners or civic mindedness. This is displayed in the way they do not observe even basic neatness and cleanliness in the private and public spheres, the way they deal with others and their disrespect for the rights of others.

One rotten apple can spoil the whole bunch – and unfortunately, because of the conduct of a minority that the whole of the silent Muslim majority is stereotyped

Overstepping the Boundaries

This situation is made even more tense when Muslim minorities voice ridiculous demands such as the implementation of Shariah law in the host state. Their understanding of Islam is so poor that they do not realise that what they are asking for, given the circumstances and their status as minority immigrants, is wrong even by Shariah standards. The West would be quite justified to be alarmed by these demands, and even more justified being hostile in their reaction.

Have we forgotten that after the conquest of Jerusalem (which occurred peacefully and without force), Umar ibn Khattab RA, the second Caliph of Islam, was invited to perform salat in one of their main churches and refused? He instead performed the prayer outdoors, for fear that Muslims might later destroy the church or claim it as their own. He respected the sanctity of the non-Muslims’ place of worship. How low our manner has sunk since then.

It does not help when a few immigrants bring from their home countries horrific traditions purportedly in the name of Islam, such as honour killings and forced marriages. Even within their private lives, their non Islamic behaviour is mistaken to represent Islam – for example, spousal abuse, which is misunderstood by the West as being acceptable in Islam because more than one perpetrator happened to have been Muslim.

On the other hand, we have lost our mercy. We do not consider the rights of others. For example, if we are living in the countries of others, study what the Shariah says. These countries have rights over us. For instance, we are bound to obey their laws. We cannot simply have our way and behave however we want. We should be civic minded in the way we behave, the way we talk and the way we transact. We might dislike certain things or disagree about our new environment, and while we do not have to follow their lifestyles, we still have the respect of the people or the citizens where we live.

The suspicion, confusion and distrust accumulate. Fed up of what they wrongly perceive Islam to be, a few irritated non-Muslims make hate remarks about Islam. The incident gets blown out of proportion, death threats are issued, and the media has a field day celebrating the maniacal behaviour of Muslims.

Please click here for Part 2

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