New Age Islam
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Islamic Society ( 27 Nov 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Do Not Let Other People’s Misinterpretation of Religion Distance Us from Islam

By B. Khan

December 13, 2016

Growing up, I usually saw 3 types of reactions when someone in my class got a bad grade on their report card: the student would vow to work harder; he or she would get upset and not really change anything; or they would blame the teacher for their own failure.

This last group was an imaginative bunch. They were so resentful about their bad grades that, not only would they blame the teacher for doing a bad job, they would also accuse the teacher of being racist, sexist, or simply targeting them.

As Muslims, we often do the same thing as that last group of students. When things don’t go as planned, or someone wrongs us, we blame Islam instead of looking for the root cause of the problem and thinking of a solution. Oftentimes, we have a hard time accepting a test in our lives, so out of resentment; we blame God or the religion itself. Or someone else wrongs us, and we think that Islam must have allowed them to do so — even if, deep down, we know that this isn’t really true. We let other people’s mistakes and misinterpretation (or abuse) of religion to distance us from Islam.

What we fail to do is guard our faith and fight for it. We have a duty to call out injustices that are committed in the name of Islam, instead of giving in and condemning our religion for other people’s wrongdoings. Or if we are going through a rough patch in life, instead of becoming impatient and pretending that blaming God will fix things, we should try to react with patience and perseverance. There is always something better waiting for us after every trial, in this life or the next. We need to recognize our own short-sightedness as human beings and not allow it to cloud our judgment.

There is always something we can do to try to oppose or fix backwards cultural practices that are committed in the name of Islam, and we have an obligation to do so. For some people, it’s through painting, creating films, protesting in the streets, or using their social media platform to spread awareness. For others, it’s through writing, which is the medium that I usually choose.

I have written about child abuse committed by Muslim parents, racism, colourism, objectification and degradation of women, and judgment within the Muslim community. I also recently came across some great articles regarding the rejection of interracial marriages by parents and abuse by in-laws after marriage.

Let’s keep the conversation going: What are some efforts that you have seen and appreciated, in which a person or group has protested an injustice committed in the name of religion? Or, what is something that you have done to shed light on these kinds of issues?