7 things Muslims wish you knew about Islam

Extremist groups and the media paint a picture of Islam many Muslims feel doesn't accurately represent who they are.

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  • Due to the media and extremist groups, there are a lot of misconceptions about Islam. This leaves many Muslims feeling unheard and misrepresented. Here are 7 things Muslims feel people don't understand about their religion that they want to set straight.

  • Terrorism is not Islam

  • The Quran, Muslims' book of scripture, states, "Whoever kills an innocent person it is as if he has killed all of humanity" (Quran 5:32). Just because some people claim they attack in the name of Islam does not mean that they are following the teachings of the religion. Islam promotes love.

  • They love Jesus

  • While Muslims don't believe Jesus is divine, they do believe him to be born of the Virgin Mary and that his purpose is to bring revelation to the Jews. They believe Jesus will come to usher in the end of times. Above all, he is a prophet and is honored by many, almost as much as the prophet Muhammed.

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  • Jihad means struggle

  • Many people believe that jihad is inherently negative. While jihad can refer to defending Islam, in general, jihad means the inner struggle against the self to be a better person.

  • ISIS does not represent Islam

  • While ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is a militant Islamic group, they are extremist and are not an accurate representation of Muslims. Islam invites people to love their neighbors and avoid conflict. According to Igor Volsky and Jack Jenkins, "Even from the viewpoint of a casual observer, ISIS is an abomination to Islam."

  • Allah is not the name of the Islamic God

  • Allah is actually the Arabic word for God. This means that Christians who speak Arabic also refer to God as Allah. Therefore, Allah is not some foreign version of divinity competing with the Christian divine; Allah is just God.

  • Most Muslims aren't Arab

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  • Saudi Arabia has only the sixteenth-largest Muslim population. The top three are Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. The Saudi Arabian government may focus on defending Islam, but those in Saudi Arabia only represent a small amount of the world's Muslims.

  • Islam means peace

  • The root of the word Islam, "salam," refers to submission, safety, and peace. Likewise, "mu" means "one who has" so Muslim means "one who has surrendered." So Islam itself promotes peace.

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Melinda Fox has a bachelor's degree in English and is the Sponsored Content Manager for FamilyShare.com. She loves Shakespeare, listening to her favorite songs on repeat and journaling.

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