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Give Us Real Islam, Not the Hollywood Version

Give Us Real Islam, Not the Hollywood Version

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When I was kid "commies", gangsters, Nazis and American Indians were the "villains of choice". Now it's our turn.
When I was kid "commies", gangsters, Nazis and American Indians were the "villains of choice". Now it's our turn.

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Published by: Abdul-Qaadir Abdul-Khaaliq on Aug 27, 2011
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06/28/2014

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Give Us Real Islam, Not The Hollywood Version
Abdul-Qaadir Abdul-Khaaliq
I don’t usually advocate the approach I am about to take, but it seems that reason or reasonableness
is not the functioning word of the day when it comes to dealing with Islam and Muslims. Insultafter injury is heaped upon Muslims time after time and - we know you have heard the complaintbefore - there seem to be few people who possess anything close to a balanced perspective when itcomes to the reality of Muslims in the world. People need to be reminded of this.What I mean is that if Islam and Muslims are put under the objective microscope of history, andeven in current day events, they actually fare far better than others in terms of their positivecontributions to societies in which they are a part. They are far worse off when it comes tosuffering and being maligned by their enemies and detractors. I do not however, wish to wave theflag of being the perpetual victim because that would not also be a balanced perspective. The fact isthat throughout today
’s world and yesterday’s history, most of the major, bloodiest occurrences and
longstanding conflicts have nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. Even conflicts that exist withinMuslim areas often do not stem from any particularly Islamic basis but are fueled by other causes.
You must realize the blatant and open “lopsidedness” in media coverage that has existed for sometime now. It doesn’t matter whether you see that as some sort of overall broad and concerted effort
by anti-Islamic elements or not. It exists. As long as you continue to read about incidents in thenews where the religion of the perpetrator of a particular crime is not mentioned unless he or she isa Muslim, then you should know that the bias is present, especially when the vast majority of criminals of all types associate or attribute their religious beliefs or upbringing (or that of their
families) to other than Islam. (I am still being nice by not mentioning those religions aren’t I?) I am
bringing up this oft-written about subject because of recently being more exposed to negativecorrespondence and attitudes than previously. It is not that I ignored or was unaware of suchattitudes, but I always felt that there were already so many voices expressing the Muslims concerns(and more eloquently than I am capable) that it was not necessary to add to the chorus. Besides, theaim of this publication is focused more towards bringing the message of real Islam to all, not anews or current events editorial.My motivation for adding any words to this matter is a greater realization of just how deep theimpact of one-sided and negative portrayals are. I have, to be honest, read some editorials byimpartial non-
Muslim writers that show that not all of them are easily swayed by “Islamophobic”
presentations and that they indeed have the sense and clear perception of media bias, but these arefew. It also seems that such writers have a better historical perspective and work or live aroundMuslims and therefore actually know them to more than a purely superficial extent. In other words,
when people actually see Muslims as people like themselves, they don’t share the same misgivings
and prejudices of those who are more isolated from the Islamic community. Believe it or not, thisisolation can occur even in the midst of Muslim countries where non-Muslims are often housed incompounds made up like their own little world within a world and are still fed with the samestereotypes, misinformation, and half-truths that they got before their arrival. They even attempt tokeep anyone overtly Muslim or Islamic off the premises!
 
Many people do not generally seem to be able to view things from the broadest perspective but are
rather more narrowly focused. If this were not true, then I don’t believe they would make some of 
the broad, sweeping and even absurd statements that they make nor would they accept them coming
from others. Examples: “Arab
-Moslem fanaticism and intransigence are the root causes to Middle
East turmoil” or “All I have seen is your religion attack” or “Th
is religion treats women as if they
were a slave” and even “Islam teaches that god is so far above man in every way that he is virtuallyunknowable”…ad nauseum. Some of these are statements of obvious zealots in their own religious
faith and who have been conditioned against listening to or accepting of Islam in the first place.One wonders however, if even they would be so open to such ill-conceived and incorrect ideas andso closed off from reality if not for: 1) contributions of negative and biased reporting 2) lack of education about Islam and Muslims 3) negative stereotyping of Muslims in books and films 4) littleactual contact with everyday practicing Muslims (which they are already discouraged from having).Finally, I must confess to being concerned
about a new film called “The Seige” from 20
th
CenturyFox starring Bruce Willis and Denzel Washington, set to open in theaters in the U.S. on November
6 that may only contribute to the problem. If you haven’t already heard, the basic story is that Arab
and Muslim Americans are rounded up into internment camps like the Japanese were after PearlHarbor because of their perceived threat to the security of the United States. Acts of violence areassociated with Islam in a more realistic and sinister manner than previous comic book-like drivel
like “True Lies” (also 20
th
Century Fox) and others in the past when Muslims were portrayed asblood-thirsty terrorists or just plain idiots. Its not just Saddam, Khomeini, Qaddafi, or some rich,bearded guy in a turban ho
led up in Afghanistan who hates America that you can’t trust...its the
Muslim right beside you!The media watch group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) voiced the Islamiccommunities concerns to director Ed Zwick and producer Linda Obst in an official meeting. Onlylimited success was achieved. CAIR has issued an alert to the American Muslim community andare calling for a proactive response such as handing out informational brochures about Islam tomoviegoers and inviting them to the local mosque.The question remains as to whether bringing attention to the film will just build its audience or willit instead be a golden opportunity to expose more people to true Islam? Will audiences be soshaken by the ideas planted in their minds by the film that going to a mosque or talking to a Muslimwill be the last thing they want to do? Will already irrational prejudices be fed and those so-inclined will feel incited to commit anti-Muslim hate crimes? Are people, Americans in particular,smarter than we t
hink and the film won’t prejudice them one way or the other and they will
perceive it all as harmless entertainment - a good action flick? Perhaps more people will beoffended that the U.S. government is portrayed as reactionary, short-sighted, against religiousfreedom and racist? Maybe it will be a box-office flop that Bruce and Denzel will wish they hadnever made. Will the question be answered as to why such a film would be made at this time?
I don’t know. I just can’t imagine any other religious group
being portrayed this way.Are we Muslims:
 
those who depopulated an entire continent and colonized others often not caring whether wewiped out the indigenous people there or not; those who dropped the atom bomb?
 
warring co-religionists of different denominations who have been at each other forgenerations and only this year signed a shaky peace?
 
 
known for burning crosses in the yards of those whose skin tone, ethnicity or religion they
don’t like and who at one time hanged blacks on a regular basis
?; Serbians who see it as aduty to ethnically-cleanse themselves of Muslims in eastern Europe?
 
extremists who demolished an ancient mosque and cant wait to replace it with their templeand expel all Muslims from India?
 
those who created one of the most devastating refugee crises in the world after uncontrolledslaughter in tribal fighting in Africa?
 
those who comprise most of the members of violent gangs, or organized crime syndicates inthe U.S. and fill its jails?
 
those who posted flyers of pigs in Muslim areas, gunned down 29 worshippers in a mosque,illegally settled on Muslim lands, and rolled a tractor up on the grounds of Al-Aqsacompound hoping to plant the cornerstone of their long lost temple?
The list is endless, and if you can’t recall the respective
religions of these well known groups, couldit be because that is not always highlighted as the major issue in reporting about them? Are youautomatically more conscious of making a separation between their deeds from the tenets of theirreligious doctrine and assume that they likely represent some type of deviation from the norm?Islam is the second largest major religion on the planet and for Muslims it is the only one thatoffers real hope, dignity, and freedom from the tyranny of man-made systems and concoctedreligions and ideologies. For us Islam is:
 
the religion that offers a whole and healthy manner by which man can recognize andworship the One and Only Creator.
 
the religion that cultivates love for God, the god-fearing and concern for the welfare of people in general.
 
the religion that unashamedly advocates sexual morality, piety and even economic freedom.
 
the religion that if fully practiced and implemented, leaves a person with absolutely no needto depend on addictive, mind-altering drugs for fun, relief or escape, nor any otherdestructive or undignified behavior.
 
the religion that protects the human family, and the honor of all members of society,especially women, children and the poor.
 
the religion that establishes justice, lawful gain of wealth, and protects members of societyfrom criminals, deviants and all who would undermine safety, peace and security.
 
the religion that encourages education and respects the rights of religious people andeliminates racial discrimination.
 
the religion that offers a concrete system of life that develops a person to be righteous,noble, honest, confidant and internally satisfied.
 
the religion that thousands of enlightened people from of all walks of life, not just prisonersor African-Americans (popular stereotypes), but all types of born and bred Americans andEuropeans (especially women) are embracing each year.

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