Stopping the Manipulation of Fear

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Stopping the Manipulation of Fear


   When Rapid City Indivisible decided to shed light on the Islamophobic groups and presentations in our community we had no idea the we would be shining that light on our local Republican Party as well as some local churches. These organizations prey on the fear and misunderstanding people may have about Islam. Like any religion, Islam is very complicated so misunderstandings are easily manipulated unless one does some research on the topic. This manipulation is especially easy when the person or groups maintain that they are experts in “that threat” or messengers of God.


   It is impossible to cover all the manipulated facts used to instill fear in people about Islam, but we would like to cover some of the most common topics used. We at Indivisible Rapid City are not experts on any religion, hate group, political party or church. We are simply citizens of the larger community who see something very negative going on in Rapid City. We want to help our community understand what is happening and how we can stand up to what we feel is wrong. We have done as much research as possible to shed light on the misinformation we feel is being spread. All of our sources of information are annotated in this blog post. We encourage everyone to read the links for deeper understanding of each topic.


Sharia Law in the U.S.


   One of the major issues that groups like ACT for America and Watchmen on the Wall push is that Muslims are trying to bring Sharia Law to the United States. While Sharia Law may be considered in determining the validity of a particular claim in a court, the court decision is always based on the Constitution.


   Sharia Law is similar to the Ten Commandments of the Bible and mostly applies to individual practitioners of Islam. There are some countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan, that base their legal system on Sharia Law but our Constitution prevents this.


Muslim's Don't Know Jesus


   Islamophobic Christian groups make statements like this one from Aglow International, “Muslims make up one-fifth of the population of the world. These followers of the Islamic religion have never known the love of God. Aglow recognizes that without Christ, they have no hope, no forgiveness of sin, and no real assurance of salvation and eternal life. Aglow has been called to expose the Islamic system, bringing awareness to the body of Christ, while loving the Muslim people by reaching out to them in love with the gospel of Jesus Christ." While it is true that Muslims make up approximately one-fifth of the world's population it is not accurate to say that Muslims are without Christ.


   In the Qur'an the story of Jesus is much like it is in the Bible but there are some differences. Jesus in the Qur'an was born of virgin birth to Mary or “Maryam”. However, Muslims do not view Jesus as the son of God but a messenger of God who was brought to being because God commanded it. Jesus did perform miracles in his life. Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified as the Christian Bible explains. They believe that God called Jesus to him before the crucifixion could take place. Another man was made to look like Jesus and he is the one who was crucified.


Islam is Inherently Violent


   Claiming that Islam and therefor, all Muslims, are inherently violent and want to rid the world of “infidels” is a common assertion of anti-Islam groups. In making these assertions passages are taken from the Qur'an and used to reinforce the idea of violence. This can be done with any religious text if one chooses. This article compares passages from both the Bible and the Qur'an.


   The very meaning of the word Islam is peace. Suicide is condemned, as is terrorism. The Qur'an specifically forbids coercion to convert non-Muslims and even guarantees Christians of paradise as long as they are faithful and do good works.


All Muslims Want Jihad


   The meaning of the word Jihad is often touted as being, “holy war” and anti-Islam groups push this idea in their rhetoric. The word Jihad actually means struggling or striving. It can be applied to ones internal struggle to be a good Muslim. It can also be used when referring to working to teach people about Islam.


   The Qur'an has strict rules concerning the waging of war. War can only be waged after all options for a peaceful resolution have failed. War can only be declared by proper authority.


Islam Oppresses Women


   Members of anti-Islam groups frequently claim that Islam oppresses women. This could not be farther from the truth. While the Judea-Christian texts blame Eve for being seduced by the devil and responsible for then seducing Adam into eating of the apple, the Qur'an lays blame equally between the two. The birth of male and female children are considered to be equal blessings in Islam. Women are not ever considered the property of her husband in Islam. A detailed analysis of Islam's way of viewing women versus the Judea-Christian way can be found here


Islam Condones Honor Killings




   Honor killings in societies predates Islam. The practice has been acceptable, at various times, in countries like France, Great Britain, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, West Africa, Bangladesh and Indonesia. It can be found in the histories of ancient Rome and medieval Europe. Most honor killings are committed by a male who kills a female relative for bringing shame on the family. Usually the shame is brought by some sexual misconduct by the female.


   Although the Qur'an makes no mention of honor killings and specifically forbids killing without legal justification it is often associated with Islam. However, it cannot be truly associated with any one culture or religion. Many scholars consider honor killings to be the result of culture and not religion.


Female Genital Mutilation


   According to the United Nations Population Fund, female genital mutilation is a cultural practice and not a religious one. No religion endorses or condemns the practice which predates both Islam and Christianity. While it is practiced by some Muslims it is also practiced by some Christians, Jews, and some African religions.


   The practice is common in several Arab countries where Islam happens to be the predominate religion but, again, the practice is cultural and not religious. There has been an alarming rise of instances in the U. S. since 1990. This does correlate with the increased number of immigrants coming from countries where it is practiced. The federal government has passed legislation to make the practice illegal and 24 states (including SD) have passed similar laws.


Muslim Refugees are a Threat


   One of the misconceptions anti-Islam groups spread is that Muslim refugees are dangerous and a threat to our way of life in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security reviewed unclassified data to discern if the nationality of a refugee has any correlation to the likely hood of the refugee committing a terrorist attack on U.S. Soil. They were unable to find significant correlation between the two. "An article in Psychology Today discusses the issue of American fear of Muslim refugees and states,“...terrorist events committed by radical Islamist do occur in the US, they are emotionally impactful, and are thus readily available to memory; however, they happen far less often than many people assume, accounting for just one tenth of one percent of all murders committed in the US since 2001 (link is external). And to the point of this essay, none of these attacks have been committed by Muslim refugees.”


   The complete article can be read here Rapid City sincerely hopes that our followers, who read this blog post, are able to take the time to read at least some, if not all, of the links posted here. The only way to stop the spread of misinformation is to educate ourselves.






















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