The religion of Islam is one that interests me the most, not only because its vast following, but because its similarities and differences to Christianity. Instead of the bible, Muslims use the Qur’an, which states that one must believe in one God, who takes no particular shape or form and is neither male nor female. God, or Allah, as referred to by Muslims, cannot be seen or heard, rewards and punishes, yet is overall merciful to its followers. Most Muslim men practice polygamy. Their wives are often identified by outsiders as women who participate in Hijab, or the covering of their body except their hands and face. This is done by wearing a Naqib or other articles of clothing depending on the exact demands of their particular beliefs.
Muslims live by a code called, “jihad,” which overall stands for the constant struggle or holy war to strengthen their Islamic religion. Islamic followers are not ones to attempt to turn others to their faith. They are not to go into battle with the intent to conquer their opposition, only to defend their land and most of all their religious rights (BBC, 2011). The Qur’an states the following:
“Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits. God does not love transgressors.”- Qur’an 2:190
Muslims have hard very relationships with Christians and even other Muslims in the Middle East. These relationships have resulted in many deaths on both parties. Martin Mawyer, from the Christian Action Network, tells about multiple killings of innocent individuals such as the 12 year old boy beheaded in Kandahar, the 17 young Muslims beheaded, the 15 Christians shot to death by Muslims while praying in their church and more (Mawyer, 2013). These are the few stories of the many that occur all around the Muslim faith and those who oppose it. Though much of America only sees and hears the terrible stories broadcasted on the television screen, there has been a large contribution by the Islamic people to the America we know today. According to the Chinese document known as the Sung Document, a journey by sailors to America had been recorded (Numan, 1992). It is also said that roughly 180 years prior to Christopher Colombus arriving in what we know now as North America, a group of Muslims, from an area of Africa called the Senegambian region, arrived in the Carribean and the Gulf of Mexico. A group of Portuguese Muslims has written a book after a journey to the Americas, which was used by Christopher Colombus in order to reach the “New World. If Muslims would not want the credit for helping Colombus to reach the Americas, then they at least the credit for lending the large helping hand in the hard labor of the Ford Company. The Ford Company had begun hiring Muslims to endure the harsh conditions of their factories, such as the intense heat (www.pbs.org). The New York Times states that Muslims were the victims of a quarter of the 3,386 religious discrimination complaints filed to the EEOC in 2009 despite only accounting for less than 2 percent of America’s population. Being Muslim also was the reason that 160 Somali immigrants, working for a meat packing company called JBS Swift, had been discriminated in the form of blood, meat and bones being thrown at them. It is also said that their rightful prayer breaks had been disturbed. This all led to a lawsuit by the EEOC against JBS Swift (Greenhouse, 2010). This display of prejudice was a result from hard feelings of the terrorist attacks of Septemeber 11th, 2001 and the mistaken understanding of the Muslim religion. By reading not only about the culture of the Islamic community, but of the discrimination endured and the contributions to America, it allows me to appreciate their faith a bit more. Although very similar to my personal religion, it is the differences that I admire and will seek to understand to a further level. Another group of individuals that differs from my distinct