Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clearing up misconceptions about Islam

There are so very many stories like this -- most of them I don't post here. But as our new Jihad Watch contributor Raymond Ibrahim noted the other day, "Why are we not constantly exhorted, day after day, that Christianity, or Judaism, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Scientology are 'misunderstood'? Why only Islam?" Why indeed? Why is there a concerted effort all over the Western world to clear up "misconceptions" of Islam for well-meaning unbelievers, but no effort anywhere to clear up the "misconceptions" of Islam that jihad terrorists have -- the ones who, we're constantly told, are twisting and hijacking the religion? Where do the "misconceptions" that Westerners constantly seem to fall prey to come from? Could they possibly come from those jihad terrorists, committing acts of violence and justifying them by referring to Islamic texts and teachings? Will a pleasant evening (over chicken and pita, as Hugh would point out) assuring non-Muslims that those people aren't true Muslims clear up that problem?

Or are these evenings, carried on more or less daily all over the West, more likely to make their bemused audiences less likely to understand what is happening in the world, and to respond to it appropriately?

"Get the lowdown on Islam, Northern Territory style," by Daniel Bourchier for the Northern Territory News, June 29 (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):

RELIGIOUS and cultural understanding and tolerance will be debated as part of Islamic Awareness Week today.

The celebration aims to explain what the religion is all about and its role in the Northern Territory.

As part of the week, the Darwin Islamic Centre was officially opened by Chief Minister Paul Henderson last night.

Organiser Ishfaq Haider said the idea of this third Islamic Awareness Week is getting to know each other.

"We invite all local people to come and see what we do,'' he said.

"With so many misconceptions about Islam, this is a good chance to ask questions.''

Highlights today include lectures about Muslim youth in Australia -- and the question of female oppression under Islam....

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