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Rebutting anti-Islamic sentiments
September 4, 2014 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Someone close to me has become more and more vocal and virulent about their anti-Islamic views, even going so far as to claim that moderates refuse to listen to criticism of extremists & terrorists. I am looking for examples of Muslim writers and speakers to counteract these arguments, and show that the overwhelming majority of people within Islam do not support atrocities. Thanks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
I haven't watched this yet, but it's on my list of TED talks to get to: When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism.
posted by yawper at 12:43 PM on September 4


There's Muslims for Peace, who had a big publicity campaign in the UK over the past few years. Googling them also turned up Muslims4Peace (possibly connected?) who condemn ISIS etc.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:14 PM on September 4


Irshad Manji might be of use here?
posted by kmennie at 1:20 PM on September 4


Islam has a tradition of non-violence you rarely hear about, see this book about Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan for example.
posted by ianso at 1:35 PM on September 4


The people who do this professionally in the US are the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Their website is a good starting point if you want to see examples of moderate American Muslims doing all of the condemning that they are often claimed – falsely – not to do.
posted by graymouser at 1:40 PM on September 4


Read the Koran. If you blink, you'll think you are reading the Old/New Testament. There is a lot that is the same in sentiments of peace, worship, etc. (There is also a lot of archaic stuff much like you'll find in the Old/New Testament). The disadvantage to this is, frankly, most prejudiced people who claim Christianity don't even know what their own Bible says.

I've studied this issue some (but not a lot) and my thoughts on it are hardly those of an expert, but this following bit of information helped me. Allah means God. When a Muslim says, there is no God but Allah, it means, there is no God but God. (e.g., money is not God or another way of phrasing it, we are all under one God.) They are not saying Allah can beat up Jehovah, in fact, Muslims accept the Old/New Testaments plus the Koran. The better English translations of the Koran use the word God for Allah.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:44 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


G. Willow Wilson's memoir The Butterfly Mosque could help. She describes living in Egypt, culture shock, converting to Islam, getting married and becoming part of a Muslim family, and her struggles to reconcile American and Egyptian culture.
posted by esoterrica at 6:37 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Thank you for all the answers so far. esoterica, that sounds like a fascinating book and I may try to read it just for myself. dances_with_sneetches, the problem isn't so much "my god will beat up your god," (this person is an athiest) so much as it is "anyone who follows Islam is a terrorist and anti-peace." Which is, obviously, gross.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:12 PM on September 4


Check out this book. It's a well-written, informative resource that addresses a lot of the topics that are misunderstood about Islam today.
posted by chatelaine at 8:53 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


Hey, are you aware of the meme going around of Muslims burning ISIS flags to protest their awfulness? It might be exactly what you need in terms of "moderate Muslims who are sick of this shit"
posted by corb at 10:23 AM on September 5


Food for thought (short Youtube video) straight from the mouth of a moderate Muslim who spent more than twenty years studying Islam (his father is an imam), has a BA in religious studies and is doing an MA in a related field. Plenty of information to combat false stereotypes.
posted by juifenasie at 6:18 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


If you want to combat inaccurate stereotypes about Islam, read the Qur'an for yourself. There are two problems, however:

(1) The Qur'an is not arranged chronologically. Instead, the chapters are arranged by order of length, from longest to shortest, which is quite confusing.

(2) The Qur'an does not supply context. Muslim grow up learning all of the details of Muhammad's life, such as how to perform ablutions (al-Taharah), offer gifts (al-Hibat), behave with good manners (al-Adab), etc. etc.

A Simple Koran (available from Amazon) solves this problem by rearranging the chapters in chronological order and adding quotations from the various Hadiths (tradition of Muhammad) and the Sira (biography of Muhammad) to provide necessary context. Actually reading the original text of the Qur'an rearranged for readability is a real eye-opener.
posted by juifenasie at 7:11 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


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