Muslims are violent, terrorists and/or extremists.
This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from
the constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. When a
gunman attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA
guerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox
militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are not
used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed
to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard
the words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence.
Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have any
Islamic basis. Often dictators and politicians will use the name of
Islam for their own purposes. One should remember to go to the source
of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what
is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God'
and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'.
Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps
this is because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West,
whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and they make
no division between secular and sacred in their lives. Like
Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of
religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly
from their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include
prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops,
trees and livestock.
NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS.. The Quran says:
"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not
transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Quran 2:190)
"If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is
the One that heareth and knoweth all things." (Quran 8:61) War,
therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous
conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally
means 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad.
The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone
wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner
From the article I wrote so long ago: http://jannah.org/articles/misc.html