This archived article was written by: Christopher Palo
ISIS, 9/11, Al Qaeda, The Taliban, Jihad, mass executions, these are the terms and names that come to mind when most say the words Islam or Muslim. But, there is another side to the story.
Islam is the largest religion in the world with its followers numbering in the billions. He extremists groups that give Islam a bad name account for only the 10 to 15 percent of the total religion. That number concerns the Western World because that 10 to 15 percent is about 300 million people which is the population of the Unites States so there is cause for concern from the extremist groups but what about the billions of others that live and worship Islam peacefully?
Musab Al Saleh, a native of Saudi Arabia and a Muslim, explained that the Islamic extremist changed the Quran. He said that it never actually said anything about killing Westerners, that killing is only for self-defense purposes only, or if the law of the country allows it. For instance if you murder someone then the law has the right to behead you, much like capital punishment laws in America.
“There are similarities between Islam and Judaism,” Al Sale said, bringing Islam a little closer to home for some of us. It makes sense that Islam and Judaism have similar stories in the tomes because they originate from the same region of the world. In fact, Al Saleh says that the Quran is a combination of the Bible and the Tora.
He stresses that the Quran is not allowed to be interpreted or changed at all, that what the Quran says is what is meant, unlike some of the Western religions like Christianity or Catholicism, which allow for interpretation of the sacred text.
According to Al Saleh, Muslim law allows for forgiveness, unlike western law the where if a person is found is imprisoned for a crime they have to stay and do their time. Muslim law allows for the family of the victim to forgive the criminal or dish out the punishment.”…It is based on the eye-for-an-eye rule in the Quran.”
The Quran also teaches that knowledge is light, again, another area that some Western religions fail to address.
This is how the main body of Islam acts feels and worships. Islam does not recognize the extremists; they take up holy wars against Westerners on their own accord not because Islam says to.
These extremists are usually from rural poverty stricken areas of the Middle East where a Sheik controls the area and has little to no influence from the rest of the Islamic world. The Sheik reads the Quran a certain way and interprets it the way he feels it was meant to. This is where he breaks away from Islam because Islam allows for no interpretations of the Quran.
Being the head of the region, a father figure if you will, the Sheik commands the hearts and minds of his people and tells them of this interpretation. Hence the next extremist group is created.
According the Wikipedia, the U.S. has had a hand in creating these extremists. In the 1970s, during the Cold War, the CIA funded and trained Bin Laden and a group of local Arab nationals, who would later form Al Qaeda, in order to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan. When the Russians were pushed out of Afghanistan, the Afghan people looked the U.S. for further help and guidance in rebuilding their country. America backed out and offered no more assistance, allowing war lords to take over power vacuums left when the Russians toppled local government. With no more assistance and no more help, Bin Laden and those local Arab Nationals Formed Al Qaeda and set its sights on the country they felt betrayed them.
Essentially the U.S. created the terror organization known as Al Qaeda. But these are not the Muslims that vastly populate the Earth these are the extremists, the lost and misguided children of a giant religion.
Islam is essentially a peaceful and loving relationship. It’s the extremist groups that are giving it all a bad name. As the Quran says, “Knowledge is light.” Let knowledge guide you to what’s right and don’t hate an entire religion based on the actions of a few.