By Génesis Román Melgar
By Génesis Román Melgar
New York – We face a world where people are being brainwashed by media, and where media often portrays the truth in the wrong way, having a damaging and painful impact on the lives of people. In this case, Muslims.
It is disheartening to see such peaceful religion being referred to as a repressive, harsh, and violent one.
Yes, we are being confronted with what they call “radical Islam” which has led to a term known as “Islamophobia”. These terms have been created as a result of the wrongful actions of people that called themselves “Muslims”. Their actions, which have been condemned worldwide, did not only damage the reputation of a peaceful religion, but also the lives of its true followers and believers.
Media is not helping in educating people about the true fundamental principles of Islam. instead, it takes shortcuts and associates this religion with terrorism whenever a Muslim, whether he is a criminal or suffers from mental illness, is involved in act of murder or mass shooting.
The radical actions of these lone wolves and of ISIS should not be referred to as “radical Islam”, because it is not Islam. In fact, the word “Islam” should be taken out of it. This religion has nothing to do with the actions of these people that call themselves followers. Sadly, people that have little to zero knowledge about the religion, are most likely to believe what media tells them. This, in itself, is very dangerous. Consider the term “Islamophobia”. It’s angering to even think that society has developed some sort of a phobia against Islam, not out of knowledge but because of the anti-Islam media discourse.
The truth is that, as philosopher Karl Popper stated, “True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.” We can take his statement and apply it to what is happening with those who do not have knowledge of Islam. instead, they prefer to go by media says and shows about “Islam”, rather than go into the books and read the truth.
As a person that has opened to Islam and its teachings, reading the Quran and the hadiths, has allowed me to respect Islam as a religion and as a positive guide to guide my life. Embracing and respecting each others religions, is one of the fundamental keys that will lead to world peace. Specially today, where one of the most rapidly growing religions is being demonized by many people.
Muslims and my interactions with them has definitely helped me embrace the religion in a deeper level. They are caring, loving, and compassionate people. At least those who follow what the holy book teaches them. Those who have no knowledge of this religion, will make their own conclusions and will have their own opinions with respect to certain beliefs and practices that are ingrained in Islam.
If people, like I did, commit to learn about the religion, they will find themselves opening their hearts to Islam. There is a reason for every teaching, and there is always a “because” to every “why” that is raised. This religion has nothing to do with what is going on in the world now. Radical groups make their own interpretations of the religion, which turn out to be wrongful and false. They do so at the expense of the lives of others, and damaging the lives of those true believers that follow Islam, the only right and true Islam.
As a person who has considered to convert, as many others may feel, I experience feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration to see the world views towards Islam. This is why I firmly stand up for Islam and all the Muslims in the world. We are brothers no matter what religion we are, and we need to support and take care of each other. I encourage people to study the real Islam and inform themselves well before judging. Those who would like to convert, follow your heart, and do not let these events and the opinion of people keep you from doing it.
To all Muslims out there, I stand up right next to you. Brothers and sisters, be strong and keep your heads up high. This too shall pass, and Islam as a religion will stand firm just like its peaceful teachings do. History is being written, lets help it be a good one. Voice yourselves, share the love of Islam and teach others the truth of this religion.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
As Muslims, it is your duty, to teach others about Islam, about its beauty, peaceful and righteous teachings. We need to help people that have the wrong idea of it, receive the truth. Without knowledge, assumptions and judgments are falsely made, as we are experiencing now. Let’s not see this happen, when we can do something about it.