Islam is a well renowned religion of today’s world that originated in Makah in 7th century as God’s revelations were brought down on Prophet Muhammad. It was his preaching methods; kindness, patience, tolerance, courage and faith in God, that he gained immense popularity far and wide and gained staunch support of his followers. Quran (2: 256) has a clear verdict for all Muslims; “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Abd, al-ʻĀṭī 1975). This single Ayat clearly explains the basis of spread of Islam, i.e., Islam is not a forceful religion. Today, Islam is presented as a terrorist religion; involved in all kind of terrorism round the globe, with every single Muslim as a horrifying person who is involved in terrorist activities. The situation has become worst after 9/11 attacks, as western and American media have tried its best to degrade Islam and Muslims in every possible way.
(Proposition) I want to rectify this image of Islam and to let you know what the actual teachings of Islam are.
(Audience Relevance) Being a Muslim myself, I am fully capable of understanding the rationale of circumstances occurring against Islam and Muslims, and I am in a strong position to clarify that has been wrongly presented and misguided.
(Credibility) I’ve made a research upon this issue and find out that lack of knowledge about exact teachings of Islam is the only reason why people have a bad image of Islam and why some Muslims get involved in such activities by which they disdain their own religion.
(Preview of main points) Today I am going to tell you that how what happened in 9/11 is being presented against Islam by the media and how people get a bad image of Islam from this and start labeling all the Muslims as terrorists.
I. How what happened in 9/11 change a lot of people’s thinking of Islam?
- All of those involved in the attacks were fundamentalist Muslims, belonging to Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria etc (Zaffos 2011).
- The attack was solely on a Christian state, with a purpose to destroy its economy and to cause as much destruction as possible.
- Considering not enough, the terrorist organization named Al-Qaeda keep threatening American Citizens to get ready for more attacks.
- That is why most of people changed their understanding of Islam in a negative way by considering it a religion that promotes bloodshed and motivate its followers to kill other non-followers as much as possible.
II. How media affect the image of Islam in common man’s mind?
- There has been a racist onslaught against Muslims by the western media, just because of lack of knowledge about exact Islamic teachings (Karim 2000).
- Islam has been promoted as a strict religion, with no liberty to women and no rights for the non-Muslims living in an Islamic state, which is absolutely wrong and in contrast with true Islamic teachings.
- Media coverage contain blind hatred for Islam and Muslims since 9/11, they have been highly victimized (Salman 2011).
- Many times media give wrong Information about Islam by relate some bad act to Muslims. These all tactics have proved to be useful to disdain and degrade Islam and Muslims in common people.
Today I have given you the reasons why Islam has now become the most doubtful and misunderstood religion of the world. Particularly in US and West where every Muslim is considered suspicious and there have been many reported incidents of violence against Muslims. Media, social and ethnic groups have played a major role in this regard, by portraying Muslims as extremists and Islam as a forceful religion. But I just want to say one thing in the conclusion, the word Islam means “peaceful submission” (Islam n.d). So if the name of the religion depicts peace, can it preach disharmony and destruction? Certainly not!! Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, and it has not widespread by force, rather by its qualities of justice and equality for all, either followers or non-followers. Media must not label all Muslims as terrorists just because of a handful of them, who are unaware of their own religion. Educational Institutes can play a better role in this regard to spread harmony in the communities living together, so that everyone would be united against terrorism of every kind.
ʻAbd, al-ʻĀṭī H. Islam in Focus. Indianapolis, Ind.: American Trust Publications, 1975. Print.
Islam. Islam Tomorrow. n.d. Web. March 18, 2013. <http://www.islamtomorrow.com/islam/index.asp>
Karim, Karim H. Islamic Peril: Media and Global Violence. Montreal: Black Rose Books, 2000. Print.
Khan, Mussarat Z, and Ecklund, Kathryn. “Attitudes Toward Muslim Americans Post 9/11.” Journal of Muslim Mental Health 7.1 (2012). Print.
Salman, Javeria. Impact of Media and Social Media on Islam and Muslims. The Message International. December 20, 2011. Web. March 18, 2013. <http://messageinternational.org/impact-of-media-and-social-media-on-islam-and-muslims/>
- Zaffos, Joshua. “A Spotlight on the 9/11 Anti-Muslim Backlash.” Pacific Standard September 9, 2011. Print