“Sister, you don’t understand. Islam is PERFECT. Wallahi, I know this is the truth! See, just read what it says here in the Quran/Hadiths and you’ll recognize the beauty of true Islam…”
Ah, if only I had a dollar for every time I’ve read or heard some variation of the statement above! I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d at least be able to take myself on a ritzy weekend getaway. Whenever I have pointed out some flaw in Islam(or Christianity for that matter), I’m simply referred back to the book. I am not supposed to judge Islam by it’s fruit but rather by what it says about itself. I am not to believe my eyes, I am to believe the book. Don’t judge the faith by its’ followers, judge the faith by the faiths’ own testimony.
This really is not a sensible way of thinking. In most areas of life, we don’t judge based on words alone. One wouldn’t support a business that consistently received low ratings from the Better Business Bureau yet claimed to be the best deal out there. One wouldn’t stay in a relationship with a person who claimed to love them yet whose actions constantly said otherwise. Yet when it comes to religion, and Islam especially, I’m expected to ignore what I can clearly see! Below are two common statements I’ve heard people use to defend Islam and my responses to them.
#1)”There is no racism in ‘real’ Islam! Traditional Islam views all mankind as equal; it is just some misguided people that practice racism in Islam”.
Whew, I couldn’t stop laughing as I typed that sentence. According to some, there is no systemic racism within Islam. It’s just a minority of Muslims who think this way and it has nothing to do with what is actually taught. So I guess I’m just supposed to ignore:
*The fact that white women are the epitome of female beauty in the Quran(read the description of the houris, the ‘perfect women’ of paradise
*The fact that sinners will be resurrected with black faces while the believers faces will shine with whiteness(Sura 3:106, Sura 7:46, Sura 39:60, Sura 55:39-41, Sura 67:27);
*The fact that one can only understand Islam by learning Arabic;
*The fact that one must make salat in Arabic
Indeed, there’s no racism in any of that folks!
#2)Islam preaches equality for women and liberates them. When Muslim women are mistreated and oppressed, it has nothing to do with Islam itself. Muslim women are oppressed by backwards cultures, not the religion itself!”
It’s just the culture, right? There can’t possibly be anything in the Quran that is misogynist. I suppose I can ignore:
*The fact that the Quran gives men divine sanction to beat their wives;
*The fact that the Quran gives Muslim men the right to marry women of the ‘people of the Book’, yet restricts Muslim women to Muslim men only;
*The fact that men can take up to four wives and also have the right to have concubines, while Muslim women get their husband and that is it;
*The fact that Muslim men are rewarded with their earthly wife AND houris in Jannah. while a Muslim woman is rewarded with…her earthly husband alone;
*The fact that Muslim women cannot seek divorce as easily as Muslim men can;
No inequality there at all folks. Islam respects women!
If I had been able to remain a drone, repeating what I was told and not questioning things, I’d still be a Muslim today. However I couldn’t do that. I chose to believe the evidence in front of me. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is my earnest desire that Muslims, especially converts, do the same.