Responding to opposite views about Islam

To Hisham in France,

I read all you comments about Islam. From your background, being a Muslim from Muslim parents originating from a Muslim country (Morocco), you are well-placed to talk about Islam as an experience and not merely as a notion acquired through studies and reports. Your living in a western country must have enriched your experience of Islam as you surely contrast it with the values of the society where you live. But as I can see from you comments, you are enjoying the best of two worlds.

Mark for instance has general and apparently mistaken ideas about Muslims. Muslims differ in attitude because they have different social traditions which distinguish them from one another. Both a Moroccan and a Saudi are Muslims but a visitor to both countries can sense the difference. In Saudi Arabia, women, for example are still struggling for their rights. They can’t even drive or travel alone. They can’t even choose their husband without their male protector’s consent. In Morocco, thanks to the family code as you mentioned women have more rights. They can, choose their husband. For a man it has become difficult to divorce without giving guarantees to the wife he intends to divorce. It has also become impossible for a man to have more than a wife except in special circumstances.

I agree with you that Muslims like you are seeking to be part of the world and not a community apart. There are some mistaken Muslims who still consider one mode of Islam as the best referring to past Muslim heroes, caliphs and Emirs they take as the best example. But as we are human beings, we should be proud of any person who contributes to humanity regardless of their religion. It doesn’t make sense that only Muslims are the only top be favoured by God. God loves anyone who loves his neighbour as he loves himself. This is at least a shared view between Muslims and Christians. If this notion is widespread, there will be no attack or aggression at any level. When you love someone you are ready for tolerance, brotherhood will be not just in the name of religion but in the name of humanity as well.

I hope Mark will be convinced that there is a difference between the core of a religion and the way it is interpreted and practised by those who embrace it. As in any society, there are good doers and bad doers. The same applies to religion and why not atheism.

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