Muslims around the world are battling against everything and everyone at the moment. This is because they are paranoid, albeit with some compelling reasons, that the world is out to get them. Everywhere they go they are perceived as troublesome and everyone you ask considers them a problem. Under these circumstances, they are obviously “discriminated” against on the basis of colour, name and nationality. Since they have no insight into how their own “behaviour” contributes to it, they are surprised when it happens and their resentment and anger against the real or perceived perpetrators grows. Unless there is a miracle, this vicious cycle is likely to continue in the foreseeable future!
Talking of miracles, we often hear that someone has converted to Islam or that more people are converting to Islam than any other religion, especially in the West. One can only entertain such rumours with a pinch of salt because conversion to any religion takes place through a few routes. For a start, missionary activities backed up by free education, health and financial benefits trump other modus operandi. Individual conversion takes place through marriage, reading or role modelling. I am not sure we have many good role models among the general Muslim population at the moment. Therefore, it is not surprising that approximately 30% of the prison population in the U.K. consists of Muslims (only 2% of the U.K. population) locked up for violence, fraud and drug & alcohol related offences. There is some evidence to suggest that Islam may be spreading in the prison population.
I have read Islam for three decades but if a non-Muslim asks me for a book on Islam I am unprepared. This is because Muslims have not bothered to write a decent, compact book on Islam in English. Almost all the published books written in English about Islam are either bad translations, Muslim-orientated, sect-based, ritual-orientated or just badly written. Therefore, one is left with no option but to recommend books written by Karen Armstrong, Leopold Weissand Guy Eaton. It is also a pity that born-Muslims cannot even claim a good quality modern translation of the Quran into English – Marmaduke Pickthal and Leopold Weiss still reign supreme.
I believe there is much more to Islam than Halal, Hijab and Polygamy. I also believe that Islam is a universal religion, which is divinely designed not to come into conflict with any culture or society for all times. If there is ever a conflict, it is due to a flawed fiqqh usually perpetrated by an ignorant & mostly crooked Muslim clergy. Thankfully, polygamy and halal are not popular issues at the moment, so we can side-step those. The current fashion of hijab prescribed largely by some born-again Muslim preachers and blindly adopted by their naïve followers needs examination.
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