Post 7: Islam

YE-AP Top Tennessee Stories
FILE – In this Aug. 10, 2012 file photo, worshipers attend midday prayers at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The struggle since 2010 between the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and a group of residents who have fought a losing battle to keep it from being built paints a distorted picture of Muslim life in Tennessee, where several other mosques have opened in recent years with little or no controversy. The opening of the center is one of the top stories in Tennessee for 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

Part II

  1. In this week’s readings, Justin Vaisse discussed in his paper some of the challenges of being a Muslim in the modern European world, which examine the assumptions that Islam can only be viewed in a negative connotation, which is simply false. He first discussed how some Muslims have no connection to Islam, and that as such many may be offered fewer opportunities than populations of older origin. On the flipside, there are other Muslims who have EVERYTHING to do with Islam, and have difficulty being more open in their practice. And even still, some only have partly to do with Islam, wherein some emphasize their religious aspects while others emphasize the physical. One of the great challenges also listed was on the topic of terrorism. European Muslims frequently condemn terrorism groups of their own people, but assumptions and stereotypes that ALL of Islam is a terrorist organization still flies freely in modern Europe. Finally, and in a way reflecting the previous challenge, stereotypes of Islam and Muslims prevail in the modern world in such a way that in some places and areas, Muslims are unable to progress socially and professionally. Vaisse also discusses some Myths about Muslims as well, such as that they are a fixed identity, and are only capable of being Muslim, or that Muslims are totally foreign to European countries; both of which are false. Or that they are a bitter group, and that they are “gaining” on the native population. Inherently false stereotypes of Muslims dominate western culture more than the Muslims ever have.
  2. There MUST be a distinction between the political and religious dimensions of Muslims, as it is this distinction that separates Muslims from terrorism. It is important to note that not all Muslims are terrorists, and in essence Muslims do not have to be terrorists at all. Their religious practices may be tied to negativity in western culture, but it is only the side of terrorism that actually exercises the negative false aspects of the religion.
  3. Education has been quite negatively impactful on the Muslim community, as there have been many attempts by school districts to suppress the outward aspects of Muslims in public, such as the banning of traditional wear or other things. A social rift would also emphasize the same mentioned above, in how these different suppressions truly weigh down on a person, especially one who cannot fully express themselves, in this case a Muslim. Ramadan states that Muslims should refrain from any impurities, thoughts or otherwise. So in face of this adversity, Muslims will still perhaps not speak out against this negativity, or they may be discouraged and feel they are going against their practices by thinking about disliking what is happening to them.
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