Essay about Islam: Muslim Life in America

Submitted By mrburg72
Words: 2085
Pages: 9

HUM/130-World Religions Dawn Tawwater University of Phoenix The Islamic religion is probably the most controversial form of religion in the world today. The recent world events related to terrorism and the conflicting viewpoints about what is true Islam are at the heart of the debate. The misinformation and negative perception of Muslims is global, but even more so in America. It is important to have an educated understanding about Islam and Muslims before forming an opinion about its true meaning. I interviewed a Muslim from my community named Camara Ahmed Jamal Fakir. He is a member of the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, or IAGD for short. This is where I conducted my interview. Ahmed (as he preferred to be called) has been a practicing Muslim his entire life. Both of his parents are Muslims born in this country and have faced discrimination and prejudice because of their religious beliefs for most of their lives. They raised Ahmed according the rules and teachings of Islam, with an understanding that he would face those who were ignorant to the true beliefs of their religion and not have a favorable opinion of him as a result. The basic principles of Islam are the polar opposite of what most people believe about Muslims and their faith. The fundamentals of Islam are the five pillars of Islam. The first pillar shahada, is an affirmation that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is his prophet and messenger. The second pillar is prayer or salat. Muslims pray to Allah five times per day. The third pillar is fasting, which is called sawm and includes fasting during Ramadan, a time of spirituality, humility and patience. The fourth pillar is the payment of a sort of social tax called zakat or charity. Muslims are required to give two and a half percent of ones financial gains or wealth accumulated for a period of one year. The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage, or the hajj to Mecca. Any Muslim who is physically and financially able is expected to complete the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime by going to the Kabah in Mecca. These are the five pillars that are fundamental to Islam. There is nothing about these principles that foster or aid the negativity surrounding Muslims and Islam. The core of the animosity and hatred towards Islam and Muslims is a little complicated in the sense that people believe what they hear or see and their minds are closed. And, if they believe the first thing they hear about something and form an opinion based on just that, it makes matters worse. In the case of Islam, it isnt likely to be favorable or unbiased information. The primary reasons for this are twofold. First, it can be blamed on those who commit acts of violence and evil falsely in the name of Islam. Secondly, the various forms of media shoulder the blame. The media has played a major role in the misinformation that is out there. It is no secret that the news is sensationalized. The problem is that there is no accountability in media circles, the bottom line is getting ratings and staying on top of the media mountain, even at the expense of the truth. The media stories about Muslims are very slanted. Instead of speaking with true Muslims that adhere to the beliefs and practices of Islam to gain a true understanding of Islam, they choose to cover stories that help perpetuate the anti-Muslim sentiment in America. This is true of the Arab and Muslim world too. Different Arabs pick different media sources that propagate a certain agenda, in the same manner that different Americans do as well. The media wouldnt have a story if it werent for the fanatical extremists that claim Islam as their religion and their heinous acts against humanity, as the will of the Muslim world. Those individuals are Muslims that have lost their way. They have chosen a path that goes against the very basic principle of Islam, which is peace. They feel that their way of life is threatened by