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Why aren`t Muslim women converting to Christianity?

20 January, 2006

By Ahmer Muzammil


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Majority of the Western media and the Pat Robertson`s of the world will have you believe that Islam is the most backward religion in the world. They will make a case that Islam is oppressive to women; it preaches hates towards anyone and everyone. They will blow fires out of their mouths how all Muslims men who are practicing are nothing but wife beaters. I have a simple question (don`t I always?), why is it that even after all this oppression we never hear of any Muslim women whether they are living in Islamic countries or even in the west converting to Christianity or Judaism, or Hinduism or any "ISM" for that matter. We will hear the Irshad Manji`s and Isra naumani`s trying to "INNOVATE" in Islam by pleading to us how lesbianism and Bastard children are a necessity and how this behavior should be welcomed & encouraged in Islam. But never will we hear even them saying that another religion is the answer. On the other hand despite of open prejudice and harassment to some degree, Islam is spreading in Europe and America like wild-fire.
  
  According to an article in a famous right-wing magazine named Christian Science Monitor, thousands of European and American men and women are converting (the word used should be reverting because we as Muslims believe that every human being is born in a state of submission to God, therefore revert instead of convert is a more appropriate term) to Islam every year. According to this article entitled "WHY EUROPEAN WOMEN ARE TURNING TO ISLAM", the ratio of women converting to Islam is much higher than the men. The article states that the reason for this higher ratio is not what is widely perceived which is that most women come within the folds of Islam because they marry a Muslim man. On this issue of women converting to Islam because of their Muslim husbands, professor at Birmingham University Dr. Haifa Jawad says "although in the past this was one of the most prevalent reason for the women to convert, now it`s mostly on the basis of their own faith and understanding".  Peter Ford
 the author of this article writes that according to researchers, the rationale for this mass conversion amongst women especially to Islam is the moral bankruptcy and the superficial nature of the society that surrounds them. I guess what he is saying is that Islam doesn`t put emphasis on the "HOTTNESS" of a woman, rather on her character. Because we don`t sometimes have a say in what we look like, nature dictates that for the most part, but we as normal human beings have total control of our behavior. Therefore we should be judged on what we have the power to alter.
  
  Karen Van-Newkirk a Dutch researcher who has written extensively on Dutch women`s inclination towards Islam, says that in Islam, men and women both have specific rights and responsibilities. She further explains that the gender roles are well defined in Muslim societies and women are not considered merely a sex-toy. She goes on to say that Islam gives women uncanny respect in the society especially in the roles of Mother, sister, daughter and wife.  Even today in this age of materialism I am a personal witness to families back home, where women in their 80`s who are completely unlettered obviously are not the bread-winners of the family, never have been, but they have the stature of the head of the house hold. My own grand-mother while she was alive (may Allah swt grant her Paradise) made all the important decisions of our extended family. Her approval was needed in marriages of her grand-children; she had the final say in almost everything that happened in the
 households of her 4 sons. It was funny that I as a 4 year old, favorite of my grandmother got away with anything and everything to the displeasure of my father, but he couldn`t do anything once my grandmother had laid the law (or lack thereof).
  
  In an earlier issue, Christian Science Monitor published an article by Christine Armario entitled "HISPANICS ARE FINDING ANSWERS IN ISLAM". In this article Ms. Armario makes a case that the reason Hispanic women are turning to Islam is the simple fact that they see respect and security for their gender. According to this article, in United States alone there are about 40,000 reverted Muslims of Hispanic origin. Every year in USA about 20,000 men and women revert back to Islam, out of which 6% are Hispanics. I am not making any of this up; this is a fact that was published in a right wing magazine. It is however ironic though that after all the persecutions and bad media and your Oriely`s and 700 club`s, Rush Limbaugh`s and Michael Savage`s, Islam is still thriving in the heart of America. Ouch! Spare a thought for the neo-cons, No wonder Dick Cheney keeps getting one Heart attack after another.
  
  Here`s a million dollar question though! All these western women with all their freedoms and mini skirts and open societies and whatever else that is the sign of a "FREE WOMAN", they are dumping all of that and are running towards "THE BIG, BAD, BACKWARD ISLAM" obviously with their free will (Unless Bush administration is Taliban in disguise). On the flip side we see a culture transforming in front of our eyes in Pakistan. I am baffled when I see slow dancing couples in an EID program. Can it get any more disrespectful? If this is not a mockery of our religious events, I don`t know what is? Please spare me the lectures on how times are changing and Islam needs to change with time. Having an educational and open discussion about how do we make our Islamic banking systems affective so we can be competitive in the economic world, or whether "Hijaab" includes the face covering or not, we should & must discuss these and many other issues openly and should accommodate common-sense. But
 if someone is going to plead the case of "Mixed Prayers" or how dancing whether classical or otherwise is some how part and parcel of our religion and Pakistani culture then you`ll get an earful from me and believe you me I am the voice of majority on these issues. It is quite astonishing that just because I am not comfortable watching a woman dance, some how it makes me less cultured and civilized. I shouldn`t automatically become a "TALIBAN" just because I am not able to appreciate the vulgarity in Fashion shows and supposed "Cultural Shows". Of all the people, I would think that "Liberals" would be a little more open-minded about my "Backward-ness".
  
  "THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT ISLAM!" It`s a Cliché at this point among Muslims. If it`s so special then why do we see Muslims making a complete mockery of their religion? And why do us the "Silent Majority" stand idly and let them dictate what our values and morals should be. If our true Islamic culture and values are so repugnant, how do you explain this massive conversion to Islam in societies where there is no compulsion on them? These societies have all the "ART" that one can want, and still there is hunger for that spirituality that only Islam can provide. It`s high time that we the majority of Pakistanis instead of just being by-standers and let these "LIBERAL-BULLIES" shove their mental-illness down our throats in form of "ART", we need to reclaim our media from these Indians-wannabe`s.  I have always told my western colleagues and counterparts that please don`t judge my religion thru my actions (although that`s a natural recourse, therefore its incumbent upon Muslims
 everywhere to live Islam rather than just talk Islam). If you want to know what Islam is about then go to the source, which is Quran and the life and teachings of our beloved Prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah swt be on him). I find it amazing and it`s a lesson for the haters of Islam as well as the supposed "MULLAH`S", when asked by his companions who is the best amongst Muslims, my beloved prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah swt be on him) said "THE ONE WHO IS POLITE AND LOVING TOWARDS HIS WIFE", all the wife-beaters are duly warned!
  
End.

Reader Comments:

Loved the Article, Keep up the good work!

This article was a great read. It speaks only the truth and I am amused how some of the individuals that posted on this page are so ignorant. The people that live in non- muslim society have no spirtuality and lack every part of it. There are so many fustration that are affecting the West and I don't think it will remain intact. Now these same foolishness is being copied by so called "liberal" Pakistanis. It is great to read an article that analyzes these changes and how it's shaping Pakistani society.

Afzal, United Kingdom - 24 January, 2006

muslims

I have read most of the comments and find it quite funny to see that most of you have raised a 'fatwa' against Muzz. How does it feel when someone attacks ones religion? or culture? 'You dont like it? neither do muslims.
Im not here to attack ones religion, but to forward the beautiful facts about islam, to those who dont understand it.
Could the people stop polarising about what Muzz has to say, some of the issues he's raised are actually very true indeed. You see it every day and still do not acknowledge it, so please dont turn a blind eye to or pretend that its not true, because you'll be doing no one favors. Especially not to yourselves.
you can notice how a muslim feels when they are constantly attacked by media publishings and vile comments against Islam.
I agree on some aspects on some of the replies, not all. Its not islam that preaches hatred or fatwa's, its the peoples lack of knowledge that takes them one step too far.
Islam is a way of life, its ones belief of god, 'which us muslims know by the name of 'Allah'(swt). We believe in following the prophet mohammed(may be peace upon him)AMEEN, was the best example to man/womankind. If some people fail to believe that, then tough thats your own perception, but muslims who are strong believers will carry on believing.
The ones reverting do not revert with a gun to their heads, they do it completely out of choice (because they belive). Till date i have heard, seen and met people who have reverted into Islam, but i havent heard of one person who has converted to another religion or religions. Im sorry to say but some of you have a naive way of looking at Islam. You have to understand it to know its real values, its no good having a negative idea about Islam if you haven't experianced it for yourselves.
Yes their are reverts who have proclaimed Islam, who in actual fact are better examples of being muslim, then the ones who are born muslims. plus we shouldn't sweep everyone with the same brush. Todays world we can find good muslims, bad muslims, good christians, bad christians, good jews, bad jews, good hindu's and bad hindu's etc etc etc.In todays world everyone is given a choice, you dont have to be muslim if you dont want to be, butlets face the facts, Islam is a growing belief and it continues to grow, are you trying to tell me that for all the reverts that excepted Islam, were threatened. 'I dont think so!'. These brothers and sisters did it out of their own complete choice and with complete submission. people are given freedom to do whatever they choose, if people are choosing Islam then good on them. Subhanallah.
Now going back to the subject of why muslim women dont convert to christianity?, then why dont you ask them that question? from what iv experianced and heard, alot of muslim women would not leave Islam because they now the important fundamentals of it, and what Islam offers to women. Muslim Women are equal to Muslim Men, and do have rights aswell. Dont you see it? its all around you muslim women are 'running things', if thats the appropriate term to describe. Muslim women are the back bone of Islam. Again Subhanallah!!!.
Islam has never degraded women, its the individual thought of people that brings about the vulgurness of culture, which Islam forbids. Islam brings equality and justice, this is what women seek dont they? I read one comment about not being able to marry a girl because her parents would have killed her, blah blah blah, well were you good enough for her mate?.
I know of two muslim sisters who apprently are my cousins, marrying two christian guys, both sisters married the guys with full submission, in court. they did not seem to have a problem, neither did ther parents, and then a year later both guys reverted into islam, with their own full will! again Subhanallah!!!
They weren't pressured or something, they read about Islam, saw the facts and realised Islam is the way of life, the whole image of Islam is not what it seems to be on our TELEVISIONS!!!!, but in ones good actions. Islam teaches alot and theres alot to learn. Iv seen muslims marry non muslim, islam allows muslims to marry those who belive in the book, but majority have ended up excepting Islam. The truth is there but its for one to grab hold of it. Yes there are corrupt people out there, but they aren't mostly muslims. The corrupt is the human being, Not Islam!.
Why is it that the media only shows muslims dying? being badly influenced and badly critcised?. why dont they ever show the good that Islam does, has done and continues to do so?.
At the time of the prophet (mpbh) faced many hardship times and these will come to us as well, we as muslim need to stand firm and strong and never be let down or ashamed against. Islam is not out there against whites or a specific religion, Islam is there for everyone regardless of who you are.
On the day of judgement every single human being is going to be accountable for his own actions. So Embrace!.



Humza Khan, United Arab Emirates - 24 January, 2006

You are from USA right?

You are from USA right? USA is non-muslim society so, according to your assertion you don't have sprituality and lack every part of it.

Allen, Pakistan - 25 January, 2006

A bitter truth.

To Kumar, Ryan and others who just can't face the truth. First of all, let us see what Quran says about marriage. A roughly Translation goes like this" Choose your partners for marriage from pious and morale and also the believers of the book but not those who do shirk (ones who make partners to Allah) So here I want to say, that not all Ahle-Kitab (believers of the book) a Muslim can marry but only those who believe in oneness of God and don't associate anyone with him. So most of the Christians are Mushrikeen because they do shirk by believing Jesus as a son of God. Only Christians stand to the Quranic verse which Muslims can marry are Unitarian Church Christians or a similar group of Christians who don't do shirk. Now why Muslim woman would convert into something which put her dignity and respect down to the drain. What is there for a Muslim woman in the western or other religions that would bring her dignity back had she lost any being a Muslim. West can not sell a match box without a half naked woman's picture on it. However, I am not denying the fact that there are so many Muslim women who have married to non-Muslims but how many of them were practicing Muslims and still how many were killed by their families. I haven't heard of any. There are practicing Muslims and there are Muslims by name. Those who marry to Hindus and other non-Muslims obviously are not practicing Muslims or not brought up with strict Islamic values. This goes to Kumar from India. Now India is a free country, how many Muslim women have converted to Hinduism or any other ism on the bases of Hindu religion which they were interested into convert other than ones who were attracted by other's physical appearances and this goes in both communities. Fatwas have no basis in Quran, these are the rulings from the leadership but ultimately there is no compulsion in Islam and once you know the truth you can not deny it. That is what is happening in the west, people who study the beauty and originality of Islam as a realistic way of life just can't ignore it but embrace it in all odds.


Noorul Qureshi, United Kingdom - 25 January, 2006

why dont muslims convert

Typical ignorant prejudiced opinion.Stereotyping of Muslims and ISLAM IS A CHARATERISTIC OF ALL NON-MUSLIMS.The reason why muslim women dont convert to any other religion is because they know the value of this great relgion which gives them equal rights compared to hinduism and christianity.If people can understand islam in its true sense there is no need to look at any other religion.Those who have stayed and changed have come back after a bitter experience/Women in the west are converting in increasing numbers as they are beginning to understand the reality of women's position in Islam.

rhazes, Pakistan - 26 January, 2006

reply to murty

Arent Hindu women oppressed in India? There is more polygamy although illegal among the hindu men rather than the muslims in india who are content with having one wife.Also casteism is the most serious wealness in the cultural structure of india.So every relkgion has weaknesses amidst its fortes.The truth is one cannot analyse ISLAM or Islamic culture with a half hearted por knowledge and prejudiced stereo-typed opinions.one has to actually study it and understand it objectively.It is totally practical and a champion of human rights.That is why it appeals to all oppressed people of the world and that is why there are so many conversions.People like Rushdie have not understodd the principles of the holy book.Out of materialistic and sexual greed this man used this ploy to exploit on the issue of the westerner's opinion of islam.True fatwas are issued.One has to be strict when is to preserve precious things in life.

rhazes, Pakistan - 26 January, 2006

muslim conversion

well written hamza.U r right. Everyone seems to enjoy villifying islam because they cant understand the order of this great religion.I guess it is just jealousy.

rezan, Pakistan - 26 January, 2006

Muslim Violence

We have seen the roots of Islamic violence in the life and teachings of Mohammed(PBUH). We have seen that world events have conspired to place Islam and Christianity in a conflict of civilizations that has stretched from the sixth to the twenty-first century.

What the future holds is unknown. What is known is that Islamic civilization has a strong tendency to violence that stretches back to the days of Mohammed(PBUH) and that has begun to flare up in resurgent terrorist and revolutionary movements.

The conflict with militant Islam may last a long time—centuries, potentially—since even if curing Muslim society of its violent tendencies is possible, it would involve ripping out or otherwise neutralizing a tendency that has dominated Muslim culture since the days of its founder.

This is not an easy task, for Muslims willing to make the change would be portrayed as traitors to their religion, amid renewed calls to practice Islam in its original, pure, and more violent form in order to regain the favor of God. The signs of the times suggest that we are, indeed, in for a "clash of civilizations" that will be neither brief nor bloodless.

But what also is known is that God has a plan for history and that his grace can work miracles. It is yet possible that—through one means or another—God will bring about a more peaceful world in which militant Islam either is not a threat or nowhere near the threat that it is today.

If this is to happen, our cooperation with God's grace will require prayer, courage, resourcefulness, and a realistic understanding of the threat we are facing. Until then there can be no illusions about Islam and its endless jihad.


Ronald Fante, Pakistan - 26 January, 2006

Muslim Violence part 1

The Roots of Muslim Violence



It is simplistic to characterize any of the major religions as being strictly "of violence" or "of peace." As Solomon pointed out, "For everything there is a season; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time for war, and a time for peace" (Eccles. 3:1, 3, 8). That's the way life works in a fallen world, and every religion capable of serving as the basis of a culture has recognized both the need for peace and the need for the use of force in certain circumstances.

Sects that are totally pacifistic have to rely on the good graces of others who are willing to use force to protect them, while sects that are totally given over to violence do not survive long since they kill themselves off or are broken up by their neighbors as a matter of self-protection. For a religion to serve as the basis of a culture, it must seek to preserve peace but also be willing to use force. All major religions tend toward this mean.

Yet some religions are far more prone to violence than others.This may be seen by comparing it to the religions most closely related to it, Judaism and Christianity.

Though belief in the true God goes back to the dawn of mankind, Judaism in its traditional form was founded by Moses, who, if evaluated politically, could be considered a warlord, leading the tribes of Israel toward the Promised Land and the conquest that would follow. The Old Testament contains numerous commands to use violence to protect and promote the nation of Israel. This potential for violence is reigned in, though, by the fact that Judaism is a religion for just one ethnic group confined to one territory.

Christianity, by contrast, is a universal religion, meant for all peoples in all countries. It has much greater breadth, and much lower intrinsic potential for violence. Its founder—Christ—was a martyr, who refused to fight to save his life. Though the New Testament acknowledges that the Old Testament revelation is from God, it does not contain new commands to use violence, as Christianity was not to be allied from its birth to a state in the way Judaism was.

The fact that in Christianity church and state are distinct means that as a religion Christianity has less potential for violence since it is not called upon to use force in the way a state is. This, coupled with Jesus' own example and his "love thy enemy" teachings (e.g., Matt. 5:44), gives Christianity less innate potential for violence.

In Islam, This potential for violence is similar to that possessed by Judaism except it is immensely augmented by the fact that Islam views itself, like Christianity, as a universal religion meant for all peoples in all countries. It also makes no distinction between church and state and is thus a political as well as religious ideology.

As a result, Islam has been willing to employ violence on a massive scale, as illustrated by the first century of its existence, when the Islamic Empire exploded outward and conquered much of the known world.



Ronald Fante, United Kingdom - 26 January, 2006

Muslim Violence Part 2

Continuation of part 1

The attitude of Islam toward using violence against non-Muslims is clear. Regarding pagans, the Quran says, "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful" (Surah 9:5). This amounts to giving pagans a convert-or-die choice.

Regarding violence against Jews and Christians, the Quran says, "Fight against those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe in neither God nor the last day, who do not forbid what God and his messenger have forbidden, and who do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued" (Surah 9:29). In other words, violence is to be used against Jews and Christians unless they are willing to pay a special tax and live in subjection to Muslims as second-class citizens. For them the choice is convert, die, or live in subjection.

The Quran has also used words for Muslims who would be slow and reluctant to attack unbelievers: "Believers, why is it that when you are told: 'March in the cause of God,' you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with this life in preference to the life to come? . . . If you do not go to war, he [God] will punish you sternly, and will replace you by other men" (Surah 9:38-39).

And, of course, there is the promise of reward in the afterlife for waging jihad in this one: "Believers! Shall I point out to you a profitable course that will save you from a woeful scourge? Have faith in God and his messenger, and fight for God's cause with your wealth and with your persons. . . . He will forgive you your sins and admit you to gardens watered by running streams; he will lodge you in pleasant mansions in the gardens of Eden. This is the supreme triumph" (Surah 61:10-12).

It must be pointed out that there are people of peace and people of violence in all religions. There are violent Christians. There are peace-loving Muslims. Changing historical circumstances do much to bring out tendencies toward violence and peace among the followers of different religions. Yet, even when these qualifications are made, it is clear that Islam as a religion and an ideology has by far the greatest tendency to violence.

There are, indeed, many Muslims who desire peace, but, their views often do not count for much in Muslim society. Author Serge Trifkovic notes: "Some critics may object that this account of Islam in the modern world does not pay much attention to Islamic moderation, to the everyday wish of everyday Muslims for a quiet life. This is not because such moderates are rare, but because they are rarely important. Religions, like political ideologies, are pushed along by money, power, and tiny vocal minorities. Within Islam, the money and the power are all pushing the wrong way. So are the most active minorities. The urgent need is to recognize this. Our problem is not prejudice about Islam, but folly in the face of its violence and cruelty. And in any case, the willingness of moderates to be what are objectively bad Muslims, because they reject key teachings of historical Islam, may be laudable in human terms but does nothing to modify Islam as a doctrine."

The prospect of modifying Islam's doctrine regarding violence is problematic. Although some Muslims in history have tried to "spiritualize" the Quran's declarations regarding violence, there is always a countervailing fundamentalist push to return to the sources of Islam and take them literally.

Indeed, this reaction is what characterizes the Wahhabite movement that dominates Saudia Arabia and inspired Osama bin Laden's ideology. Philosopher Roger Scruton notes that in the Wahhabite view, "whoever can read the Quran can judge for himself in matters of doctrine."

This attitude, which is tantamount to an Islamic version of sola scriptura, is likely to prove as durable in Muslim circles as it has been in Protestant Fundamentalist circles. As long as that is the case, there will be fresh waves of Muslim "martyrs" willing to take the Quran's statements on killing literally, apply them to today, and then hurl themselves into combat with whomever they perceive as "the Great Satan."




Ronald Fante, United Kingdom - 26 January, 2006

Muslim conversion

Conversion from Islam to any other religion is purely a propaganda by some who are failing to understand that Islam do not have missionaires and still second leading religion in the world today. Fundamentals of Islam are not comparable with any other belief and anyone who is bribed or given some in return might be a case but inside a muslim the name of Allah remains no matter what others think this complete and peaceful religion will keep on adding its believers for coming centuries. Others do have a fear of Islam though this kind religion does not teach anything wrong except be polite and kind to others and pray to one God. Very simple religion to follow and there are still who are not trying to understand and that is a difference of opinion which does not harm faith of Islam.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 26 January, 2006

Western Open Soceity, yet full grisp over knowledge

Dear Muzamil Sahib: First of all let me congratulate you for this piece of article which seems to have opened a new pandora box of theological labyrinths.

I appreciate your expression in terms of your love for your religion and faith, however, I would respectfuly disagree with the sarcastic tone of downplaying the western society, whose fundamentals are laid down on in acquiring knowledge.

The question is not about "Women Rights" or whose better or whose wrong, the question is that who respects "Knowledge".

In my humble opinion, muslim societies may have done, to some extend, well in preserving the family unit system, which is commendable, however, they have miserably failed to fathom the essence of the very same family system because of lack of interest in creating a culture of knowledge. Our Mothers,daughters, sisters and wives, might have understood the right of giving respect to their OWN Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, etc , but at the sametime they have vividly exhibited humiliating the daughter-in-laws, sister-in-laws, mother-in-laws because of the same joint family unit system. This culture of mental torture within the family systems has only been able to promoted because of not givng space to the culture of appreciating "Knowledge"

I believe, western society has understood the basic ingredients required to promote a culture of harmony, and they have indeed worked on the enforcement of laws to facilitate such a culture, yet, in doing so, they have given liberalism a new dimension, which is debateable. On the otherside, muslim societies have lived upon their own made cultural values and have mixed it with their own interpretation of Islamic unerstanding by labelling everything Islamic. I dont' see any point in Calling , Republic, Architecture, Banking etc etc as ISLAMIC.

We muslims have to comprehend "Morality" in its totality, instead of confining it to only Vulgarity. I can say for sure, if you goto any court in Pakistan and look for a fake witness to be bought over, you'see a queue of people waiting to become a witness for your case, in contrast if you go outside a court in USA and ask for such fake witness, they will have difficult time in understanding this notion of having fake witnesses?

Talking of vulgarity, what could be more vulgar than watchiing people openly urinating in front of your eyes in the so called, Islamic Repubic of Pakistan? Therefore, please stop feeling bad about the western societies which have created an environment for "Knowledge" where everyone is equal to learn whatever they wish for and decided for themselves to adapt whatever faith they wish to practice. In Pakistan, I am even afraid of going to Mosque because of a culture of impatience.

In the end, I woud like to once again thank you for giving us the opportunity to discuss this topic, however, I 'll request you to understand the notion of open society which gives space to everyone to breath, while in our, so called, moral culture, we are living in fools paradise.



Ali Agha, Pakistan - 26 January, 2006

Ronald fante

Hey people!
Iv been reading the articles very closly, i seem to like the suggestions coming through.
certainly gives me food for thought, on how to correct my dear friends who again do not UNDERSTAND Islam as a belief in Allah.
They really do have unethical views.
My comment is mostly targeted at Ronald Fante from the US. YOu so it coming, mate!
Well nice piece of research, good vocabularly and context too.
Ronald you mentioned in your article that Islam preaches violence and that its been more or less hidden by muslims, and that they know the facts but do not admit it.
Well for your sake, i will say 'yes' it does to an extent, but lets get one thing very clear, since the time of the prophet(mpbh), Islam was being spread and muslims who were excepting Islam were being oppressed to toture by the non-muslims.
They had to protect themselves like every religion would do. We can link you and i are doing just that, we're writing these articles to protect each others belief and views. We are adressing what we believe in. Does this mean that you and me are violent people. We aren't physically attacking each other, but we are in a debate, which could lead to abuse, if taken to extreme forms, abuse is an element of violence, isn't it?, but we're not going to do that. or are we?lol.
My perception is that Islam also fought against Christians and Jews, dont forget it takes two to tango, and Islam wasn't fighting agaisnt itself.
We can see the repeat of history today. Look around you, muslim nations being attacked with force for democracy on Iraq, Palestine, Bosnia, Chechnia, somalia, Iran, Afganistan, Kashmir and finally,and inshallah only finally, Pakistan. Who is fighting to keep peace.
Freedom fighters will born, and emerge in all glory for the welfare of there own nations, to protect.
let's just say one day, just for role plays sake, you decide to barge your way into my home,(even though you dont know me), but let's just imagine, you really think im going to sit down calmly and watch Television, while you become a threat to my property and family. NO WAY!
I will fight for my rights, till death. Does this make me a terrorist or a freedom fighter?
So tell me, why are these majority muslim nation being targeted by the Christians and Jews.
Why does the US use violence to promote democracy? why cant the muslims live in an Islamic society in harmony in their own homes? why is democracy so important for the muslim countries?.
I am not attacking the US, but you touched the topic of violence, dont forget you and i have the right to protect our homes, and its in every human nature to protect their homes, and the people with in it. For every begining their is an end, and thats the way it will go on. For every attack, you will get retaliation.
So violence is not only in Islam, but in every religion. Hindu's attacking muslim kashmiries as well, isn't that violence? Sikhs carry knives and swords because its a part of their religion, won't you say that these tools are a form of violence and that they can cause serious injuries and at worse death if used inapropriatly. What message is the sikh community?.
Double standards is being applied by people who think Islam promotes violence.
We should not stereotype against Islam, and look at the cause root of the violence before making assumptions.
struggle for freedom is what muslims are promoting.

teachers comments:

I think you deserve an 'F' grade. For good effort! could be better.
Humza K

Humza Khan, United Arab Emirates - 26 January, 2006

rhazes

rhazes,

The fact is women are oppressed irrespective of religion in the Third world and developing countries. The degree of oppression varies depending upon environment, society and socio-religious factors. I am not denying that India has its share of oppressed nor am I saying that Rushdie was correct but you are missing the point. India is a secular country where all religions are practiced freely and fearlessly. I am sure Pakistan has its Hindu temples and Sikh shrines & the common man there respects his neighbor's religious orientation.

It is people like Ahmer who present distorted, one-sided information to the public and stir up the hot heads I talked about. Do you deny the atrocities committed by Taleban in the name of religion in Afghanistan? These people shot anyone who dared to trim their beard. Shot any women who did not observe hijab or worked. Are these the most precious things in life?

Is the lot of the oppressed people any better than it was before they converted? Some people converted in India to get a better shot at improving their lot by leveraging the 'Reservation' system and not because a particular religion or caste appealed to them. Some of them were successful but a lot of them are in the same situation as they were before.

Murthy, United Kingdom - 26 January, 2006

That was one of an article Mr.Fante. These muslims will never accept the faults they have. Every relegion has its flaws. So far the most scientific relegion i have ever seen happens to be Hinduism..(Though I am jewish)

Dude, Macedonia - 26 January, 2006

jai shree ram.


Hindu, Pakistan - 27 January, 2006

Kashmiris decide that

To Verma of India, Mr. Verma I didn't want to bring in politics here since you have started, I have to respond. I am a Muslim first Kashmiri second and then then whatever. Kashmir is for those Kashmiris who loyal to the cause of freedom movment. Those Kashmiris who betrayed the freedom movement whether they were Muslim or Hindu were kicked out or were taught a lesson as any traitor would receive. In the process Kashmiris invited and welcomed those who wanted to help Kashmiris in their freedom movement. So Mujahideen are our guests and not going anywhere unless we say so, not you or your Indian leadership. Kashmir was a political issue and Indian politicians have turned it a religious issue to sabotage Kashmiris right to self determination in the cover of terrorism, now India is stuck at both fronts because for Islam religion and politics goes side by side.


Noor, United Kingdom - 27 January, 2006

Please forgive

Dear Sir,

I am a poor Christian with no intention of converting to Islam. Please forgive me. As a few people said in this forum I am jealous of Islam. Sure Islam is a superior religion to Christianity. After all, in which religion would you get 72 virgins in heaven. In which religion can you close your eyes and pretend everything is hunky dory when all sorts of vicious crimes are committed by its adherents? In which religion can you marry 13-year-olds who have attained puberty because Islam says a girl is marriagable when she attains puberty.
In which religion are you promised wine and women in heaven?
Which religion says the others are all kufars and their heads deserve to be cut off?
Which religion advises you to break the natural cycle and start eating at night during the month of Ramadan despite science proving it`s bad for health. In Muslim countries hospitals are flooded with patients suffering from gastric and other problems during the month. Yet it is supposed to be healthy.
Why do Muslim countries don`t produce any scientific geniuses?
Why is Pakistan`s only nuclear scientist AQ Khan in jail?
Why is the 57 Muslim countris` scientific and industrial contribution is lesser than the tiny European nation of Belgium?
All these and many more make me jealous of Islam. Please forgive me.but I am happy with what I am.
Love to all poor Muslims.

john

A.C. John, Pakistan - 27 January, 2006

hindus love-hate relations for Gandhi !

True, a staunch Hindu took the life of Gandhi, since gandhi was seen sleeping with muslims in the aftermath of Jinnah's direct action call.

Muslims divided the nation to create pakistan for themselves, then it was expected (and I still wish it would have happened), that all muslims should have been asked to leave India. but gandhi opposed it.

gandhi was seen hurting the Hindu pride since the days of Bhagat SIngh and Subhash Bose. and finally when he came out all in the open to protect muslims in the mayhem in the aftermath of Indian independence,
this supposedly pro-muslim bais in gandhi led to his assasination.

we as hindus can have a love-hate relationship with our God and our leaders. probably you will not understand it. I love gandhi for many things and hate him for few. though I don't hate him enough that I would have killed him. I am sorry that someone did kill him out of hate. but remember he did not kill him without showing his adulation towards him. complex things :), I know all these things are beyond you.

Chan, United Kingdom - 27 January, 2006

Celebrate the power of free will !

Oh come on, when are we going to respect the free will of the human beings. when one white women converts to Islam in US, we should celebrate her power of exercising the free will than the power of Islam.

now could someone answer how many muslim women in pak and india have the option of exercising their free will to convert to say buddhism, or even they have exposure enough to learn about the virtues and vices of their islam, leave about buddhism.

so please don't compare apples with pears.

Chan, United Kingdom - 27 January, 2006

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