First of all, what is Islamophobia? “Islamophobia is the hate and dislike of non-Muslims towards Islam based Completely on misconceptions and false assumptions”.
Media has played a vital role in promoting this mindset. Here, I’ll try to address the top ten false claims about Islam that I’ve heard and will try to clear your doubts.
Top 10 False Claims about Islam (Islamophobia):
10. Islam Praises Jihad and Supports Terrorism
The most common, and the biggest false claim about Islam, is that it praises terrorism. Completely wrong! Islam is a religion of peace and happiness. In Quran, Allah says “Killing one person is like killing all of mankind and saving one person’s life like saving the life of all mankind”. One thing has to be noted here, in the verse(s) mentioned above, Allah is not talking about the enemies in war, he is talking about innocent people.
It should be clear that Islam allows killing enemies in a war (that war should be for a good cause). But killing innocent people, under any circumstances, is prohibited (Haram) in Islam! Those who are killing innocent people in the name of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W) are terribly wrong. They are the people making Islam look like a terrorist and cruel religion, which is completely wrong. Media has played a vital role in promoting this mindset.
9. Women are inferior and granted no rights
Another big assumption about Islam is that it gives no rights to women. First of all, what proof do these people have that Islam has declared no rights to women? Have they ever heard about the place of women in Islam? Islam has given women rights, as much as it has granted to men. I know that some people, even Muslims do not give women their rights, which is completely wrong and has to be stopped.
Islam has given women rights that no other religion ever has. Islam is a balanced religion, it gives men and women their own position in society. Saying that it has given no rights to women, is completely wrong and is ignorance to what Islam propagates. Islam has given women rights e.g. permitted them to do jobs if they want to, even gave them the choice to choose their partners. She has been considered the loved-most and respected-most at the household level to make her feel inferior to none.
8. Women are forced to stay in and hide themselves against their will
A lot of people think that Islam doesn’t permit women to go out of their houses, and they cannot remove hijabs (veils) at any time under any circumstances. This should be noted that Islam has not restricted women to go out of their houses! Let’s take some example here from the life of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W), the wives of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W/PBUH), who used to go to wars; Weren’t they medics at that time? It is completely wrong to say that Islam has not permitted women to get out of their houses.
As far as Hijab is concerned, Allah himself has ordered women to cover their heads in front of uninitiated men, but it is not forced. It is a measure for their own safety and men are also ordered to lower their gaze. Yes, Hijab is compulsory, but saying that it is forced, is wrong. Husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons are taught to make their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters cover their heads, but they cannot force them to. They can ask them though because, on the Day of Judgment, men will be questioned about it.
7. Muslims are forced to follow Islam
We are told to follow with respect because each religion has certain codes to follow so has Islam too. Islam, if a forced religion, why would the number of its believers be increasing day by day? It is so because it offers personal liberty and space to each follower. Have you ever seen someone reverting? I’ve once, but it is a very rare case. Islam does not force anyone to stay in the religion, but it advises us to. So, it’s one of the other false claims about Islam.
6. Women are not permitted to learn and study
This is another misconception about Islam and Muslim women. As mentioned before, they are permitted to go out of their homes, and secondly, Islam has given orders for the education of both men and women. There is a Hadith (saying) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W) that: “Acquiring the knowledge is must for every Muslim”. I do know that there is a group of Muslims that think that women should not get study, none of the true believers support them, and such people are doing wrong and are to be corrected!
It is said in Quran: “Allah will for sure reward those people who followed the righteous path and gain knowledge” – [Surah Al-Mujadila (58): Ayat-11]. All Muslims are taught to pray like “My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge”. (Quran, 20:114).
5. Co-working or working with the opposite sex is prohibited in Islam
Some believe that Islam has forbidden co-working. It must be cleared that Islam has not restricted co-working. Women are allowed to work in Islam, subject to some conditions. For instance, if a women is suffering from poor financial conditions and is in need of a job, she is free to do any job if she keeps herself covered and it doesn’t affect her household duties. This also includes co-working. In case of co-working, both men and women should follow the Islamic code and can freely work with the opposite sex.
To make things more clear, let’s take some examples from the life of Hazrat Hatice (R.A), one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W). She owned a big business in Mecca. Her business was based on trading which for sure was an example of co-working. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W) would have stopped her from this business after marriage if it was prohibited or haram in Islam, but he did not. In today’s world, if you visit a Muslim country, you’ll notice that women aren’t forced to do or not to do anything against their will. They are working according to their own will and are free to do everything that a women would need.
4. Muslims are intolerant of queer/trans people
It’s also a false claims that Islam doesn’t support trans/queer people, or it has no place for them or the codes to respect them. Firstly, where did Islam disrespect these people? Secondly, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W) said “Respect transgenders, they are nearer to Allah”. The Ottomans and the Mughals had such people as their intercessors. Islam pays due respect to them as humans. In the end, the same God who created us has created them!
3. Sharia law is a barbaric punitive system
Shariat or sharia law is known as the righteous way of living for Muslims. Sharia Law includes the rules given by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W/PBUH) and Quran. It is strictly ordered to act upon the Shariat (Sharia Law). People say that Sharia Law is barbaric because the punishments in these are harsh e.g. if a person has been proved as a thief, his hands should be cut. It consists of a lot of harsh punishments. But remember, these are the best kind of punishments if they are applied in the world, the crime rate will fall very much and if we look deeply into history, way more barbaric and cruel punishments were implemented even before the advent of Islam. Sharia Law is the only way to maintain peace and order in a society. It is to provide justice to everyone.
2. Islamic code of law is for the poor only
It is also said that Sharia Law is only applied to the poor and helpless people. Just to clarify, NO! This is completely wrong! It’s another false claims about Islam.
Islam is a balanced religion, for everyone. If one commits a crime, he should pay for it. No matter their wealth, status, profession, or religion. Let me tell you a true story; Once the daughter of a high-ranked family of Quraish (a rich and powerful tribe of Mecca) was proven guilty of theft. She was given punishment (cutting her hands) according to Sharia Law. The family sent someone to ask the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH/S.A.W)for forgiveness. The Prophet (PBUH/S.A.W) said, “Even if it was my own daughter here, I would still have given her the same punishment.” This incident approves that the assumption is completely wrong.
1. Hatred for other religions
Another false assumption is that Islam doesn’t respect other religions. I don’t know where people get these kinds of assumptions from. Anyways, Islam has shown respect for other religions. Quran says: “Respect and honor all Human beings irrespective of their religion, color, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession, and so on”. [Quran 17/70]. Islam, respects everyone, of any kind, no matter their gender, religion, race, or color! Islam orders Muslims to preach and spread their religion. But has not ordered, or promoted hate or disrespect towards other religions. Islam has, and will always respect everyone.
These were the top ten false claims about Islam (Islamophobia) that I thought I should take about and clear people’s doubts!