Contend Earnestly: 10 Dangerous Myths About Islam and Muslims

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

10 Dangerous Myths About Islam and Muslims

In preparation for tomorrow's free web event, Why Do You Fear Me?, I took this from Carl Medearis' site to give some more insight to Islam. I can't stress enough how much you should, at least, sign up for the event so you can watch it either live, or afterwards. You don't need to agree with everything, as I am sure I won't, but it is going to be a great event that will hopefully help break down some barriers between us and the Muslim world. To register, click here. I also put up a video of Medearis explaining the event...I have put this up before. To get an idea of some topics that will be discussed, you can vote on their facebook page on questions that people want answered. Click here to get to that page.

10 Dangerous Myths About Islam and Muslims

1. Islam is a religion of violence. By definition, if you’re a Muslim, then the natural and obvious working out of your religion is to be violent.

Islam as a religious system has not been any more violent than Christianity or Judaism. In the name of these three religions, much harm has been done. No one would accuse “Christianity” as being violent because of the actions of the KKK, yet they call themselves “Christian.” So we cannot blame the actions of less than 1% on the whole of Islam.

2. Muslims are backward in general. They don’t have a complex or high culture.

Some of the greatest contributions to society, even Western society, has come from Islamic countries. Most historians acknowledge that the Western Renaissance which began in Italy in the 1400’s had it’s roots in the early Arab Renaissance headquartered in Baghdad. Science, math and literature have deep roots in the Arab Muslim world of the Middle Ages.

3. Muslims are Arabs. Or…Arabs are Muslims.

Of the 1.4 Billion Muslims, only about 280 million speak Arabic as their first language. The largest Muslims countries are Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is true that the Arab world still holds the greatest influence on the rest of Islam since the Qur’an is in Arabic and the holiest sites are all found in the Arab Middle East.

4. Muslims believe in Allah, a false God and they follow Muhammad.

No Muslim would say they “follow Muhammad.” And the only word for “God” in Arabic is Allah. All Arab Christians worship “Allah.” So it’s a silly argument based on semantics. For more on this, read my book “Muslims, Christians and Jesus.”

5. Islam teaches Muslims to kill Christians and Jews.

There is not a single command in the Qur’an for Muslims to go out and kill Christians or Jews. In fact quite the opposite. Read the Qur’an for yourself. The best version and easiest to read in English is the one published by Oxford Press.

6. Muslims cannot integrate into Western societies because Islam is incompatible with Democracy.

There is no reason to think Islam and Democracy are incompatible. Many Muslims countries have a form of Democracy. There are some political and social realities that make good Democracy difficult, but it doesn’t have to do with Islam.

7. Islam is a cult, not a true mono-theistic religion like Judaism or Christianity.

Islam, Christianity and Judaism have always been called the three great Monotheistic religions.

8. Muslims go along with their teachers and don’t think for themselves.

Islam is incredibly complex with many “versions” like Christianity. Muslims are no more inclined to “go along” with what their teachers say then western Christians are.

9. Islam is against Jesus. They don’t believe in Him.

Ask any Muslim “Do you believe in Jesus” and they are likely to burst into a smile and start telling you how much they love him. We agree, that there are points of misunderstanding, some of which are significant, but that doesn’t mean they don’t “like him.”

10. Muslims resist modernization.

If Muslims resist modernization, they do so only because they see the evils of the west and don’t want them. Things like gangs, pornography, divorce and such are seen as “Western Values” and those are incompatible with Islam.


Victor Duwon Jackson said...

This is the best post I've read all week. Thank you.

Unknown said...

They say: 'Accept the Jewish or the Christian faith and you shall be rightly guided.'

Say:'By no means! We believe in the faith of Abraham the upright one. He was no idolater.'

Say: 'We believe in God and that which is revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes; to Moses and Jesus and the other prophets by their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them, and to God we have surrendered ourselves.' - The Cow 2:135 - 2:136 (Penguin Classics modern English translation - I have also looked at these verses in each of the 3 translations - Yusufali, Pickthal, and Shakir). There are many other verses that speak of our Lord Jesus and are equally distressing.

That alone shows that though the Qur'an mentions Jesus as special, he had a virgin birth and was an apostle, that they do not believe in the same Jesus that we believe in. As a matter of fact they don't believe in Jesus as the Son of God at all. The Qur'an is like the Book of Mormon only deceptively closer to the Bible. I do not believe that the angel Gabriel ever spoke to Muhammad just as I don't believe that an angel named Moroni spoke to Joseph Smith. An angel probably did speak to them but it wasn't of the Lord. That is why we must witness to Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhists, Hindus and any other members of false religions as well as entire world outside of the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the one Saviour. So anyone trying to say that we who believe in Jesus as the Son of God are spiritual brothers with Muslims are deceived. Didn't Jesus and His apostles warn us again deceivers?

That being said, I agree that all the misconceptions about those who are part of the Muslim religion are wrong. There are violent exceptions within the Muslim world as there are violent exceptions among those who identify themselves as "Christians". Look at the rightwing "Christian" militia groups. Look at the battles between the Serbs and the Croats. The Christian message is one of love - that the Living God sent that part of Himself called His Son to become a man, to live and teach, and then to be the ultimate sacrifice for the sin of mankind that started with Adam - it is not a political statement.

I think the quote by the translator of the Penguin Classics Koran has a very good line on the key elements of the Muslim religion, "The Koran preaches the oneness of God and emphasizes divine mercy and forgiveness. God is almighty and all knowing, and though compassionate towards His creatures He is stern in retribution. He enjoins justice and fair dealing, kindness to orphans and widows, and charity to the poor. The most important duties of the Muslim are faith in God and His apostle, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, and (if possible) pilgrimage to the Sacred House at Mecca, built by Abraham for the worship of the One God." The devout Muslims that I have known or seen on TV communicate this message, not jihad.

So if a believer in Jesus Christ wants to witness to a Muslim then they must know the Qur'an inside and out. The Christian must communicate with the Muslim believer on the same level as witnessing to a Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, etc. That is the advice I received from a Christian Armenian from Iran. Also from a former nominal Muslim from Pakistan who became a believer in Jesus Christ who I met while going through evaluation for missionary work - most of the people who identify themselves as Muslims have never read the Qur'an and so are easily persuaded to follow false teachers. Sounds similar to what happened to Christianity during the Dark Ages when the Roman church tried to hide the true teachings of the Bible by only speaking and writing in Latin.

Alright I've probably written too much and I ask for forgiveness. The important message is to love even the violent (and deceived) Muslims as the Lord commanded us. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Do not be the judge of peoples but the deliverers of the good news.

Wes Widner said...

Seth, you seem to be going out of your way to rip Islam out of it's bloody and intolerant historical context. Sorry, but Islam has earned it's bloody and barbaric reputation over the centuries.

And as for their worshiping the same God as Christians/Jews. Just because someone shows up at your family reunion knowing all the right terms and names doesn't make them part of the family.

Anonymous said...
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Seth McBee said...

Not going out of my way to "rip Islam" from anything. I think Christians love to create a double standard. The Old Testament and the history of those warring in the name of Jesus/Cross are overlooked or at least given a chance to explain. But, Islam is not given a chance to explain the past, what the culture was like and why certain things happened. The fact is, Islam and Christianity have much in their past that they would take back and not support. What we need to do is seek out what most Muslims believe, which is peace, and ask them based on the Qur'an and Hadith how they come to those conclusions. The problem is that most Christians are so shut off from actually speaking to Muslims and would rather win a debate, that these polarizations continue to happen.

I won't let the polarizations happen on my blog. We are called to love, bless and pray for our enemies, yet most Christians decided to vilify. Way to show off who Jesus is.

And Wes, your analogy with the family reunion doesn't make sense. It doesn't flow with my argument on worship in any way.

Seth McBee said...


Thanks for coming by and commenting. I imagine if we got together we would have a very good conversation about this. Most of what you mentioned, I completely agree with, some are just miscommunications to Muslims from the Western world/translations. Especially in regards to the Son of God. This article is very good in decribing why Muslims have such an issue with Jesus being called "the Son of God":

Explaining the Biblical Term 'Son(s) of God' in Muslim Contexts by Rick Brown

Very good article.

I think we can and should come to Muslims in a very different way than we would with Mormons and JWs. There is much more depth within the Muslim contexts than those cults. If you want me to explain, I will.

I hope you are well.

Let me know if I can clarify anything that I have written.

Anonymous said...

I work at a federal half-way house. The muslim population is rising and I have been following your posts on the subject to help in evangelization, if possible.

These residents all attend the same mosque (there is only one in our town) and have a strong unity while the Christian staff and residents all go to differant churches and have less unity. It is very evident.

Also, I wonder if you know if you have heard about any syncretism (especially in the correctional environment) between Islam and Nation of Islam. I have picked up pieces here and there of the latter submerged into the former. They tend to present Islam as the public face, but teach and discuss Nat Of Islam doctrines in private.

I hope to read more of your posts on this subject.


Anonymous said...

As if finding similarities to Christianity makes it any better. All religions are dangerous and poison society.

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