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Islamophobia: Islam and Muslim

With the rise of Islamophobia in today’s world, critics denounce Islam and Muslims as intolerant, misogynist, violent, and monolithic. This paper will consist of repoisnses to these accusations about Islam by using the assigned readings from throughout this section of the course. This essay will specifically be using the works of Reza Aslan (Aslan 2012) and (Sophia Rose Arjana 2017) to build upon the response to the accsusations mentioned above by looking at the Islam’s relationship to Judaism and how quite similar they are in tradition and practices, as well as be looking at the rights of Women in Islam and how Islam came and liberated women and gave them more rights than they currently had at that time in Arabia.

Furthermore this essay will be looking at the Television Series, ‘Burka Avenger’ and how it can be seen to suppress common stereoptypes around women in Islam and specifically women in Islam who choose to wear the Hijab.

It is essential to note that Islam does not see it’s roots any different from that of Judaism or Christianity (Moosa 1991).

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What distinguishes Islam from the rest of the other Abrahamic religions is the fact that Muslims see Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the final messenger and seal of phophets (Moosa 1991). It is also important to note that Islam does not deny the existence and Prophethood of Jesus Christ and Moses, as both of these figures are seen as prohpets in the Quran. Islam does also don’t deny the previous scriptures, however muslims do believe that the Quran was the ‘confirmation of the previous scriptures’ (12:111).

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This all resulted in the prophet Muhammad then claiming that the Jews and Christians are the spiritual cousins of the Muslims, and even though they have different belief systems, they all submit themselves to God (3:84)

A common criticism of Islam is that it is a religion of compulsion and that it was so called ‘spread by the sword’. This statement can be seen to be true to a certain extent on the basis that Islam spread after winning many wars, however, The Muslims at that time did not force the people they conquered at the time to convert to Islam. They simply gave them the option to convert to Islam, or stay with their current religion and pay what is known as a Jizyah, which was a special tax for non-muslims living in a muslim region. Furthermore, if one looks at the penultimate source of Islam, The Quran, we once again find more evidence that Islam does not allow Muslims to Force non-muslims to convert. This is clearly stated in the second Surah of the quran, Surah Baqarah, in verse 256. The verse states, ‘There shall be no compulsion the religion.’. This emphasises the power of free will as well, that God bestowed upon us as he states in Surah Al-Qasas, verse 56 that he ‘guides whom he wills’.

Many critics of Islam also state that islam is intollerent to many other relgiions and faith. Critics also claim that the prophet Muhammad was anti-semetic, however, Aslan clears these accusations in his book by stating that the biographers of Muhammad wrote their own sentiments and not the prophets actual own sentiments (Aslan 2012). It is also important to note that these biographers were writing at a time when the Jewsih minority was the only other theological rival to the Muslims.

With regards to there being many claims that Islam is misogynistic and oppreseive to women, we can use works of (Aslan 2012) to provide a substantiated argument against those claims. In his opening paragraph in his chapter regarding women in islam, Aslan is quoted to have wrote, ‘Perhaps no where was Muhammad’s struggle for economic re-distribution and social egalitarianism more evident than in the rights and privileges he bestowed upon the women in his community’ (Aslan 2012). Aslan then also further goes on to states that even the Quran, goes on to emphasise the equality of the sexes in the eyes of God which can be found in surah 33 verse 35.

It is also important to note that in the pre-Muhammad era, the women of society had absolutely no rights to inherit nor the right to divorce their husbands. That only changed once Muhammad has come into power and changed the social norms, giving women the right to inhertit, as well as to divorce their husbands (Aslan 2012). A common criticism in Islam is the point that Men are allowed to have multiple wives (up to four), whereas a woman can only have one husband, thus raising the question of how can men and women be equal in the Islamic faith. While this is a valid point, it lacks a certain context behind it.

Aslan gives us this context by saying that the prophet Muhammad allowed the practice of polygyny but with certain restrictions put in place. These limits and restrictions were that after their war with the Quraysh, many wives were left widowed and many children left orphaned, thus resulting in the Muslim men being allowed to take up more than one wife and to provide and care for her (Aslan 2012). The next restriction comes straight out of a verse of the Quran, Surah 4: verse 3, which states, ‘Marry those women who are lawful for you, up to two, three, or four, but only if you can treat them all equally’.

Therefore, one is able to conclude that Islamaphobia can trace it roots to the rise of mainstream media and how certain outsiders or critics of the relgion are quick to criticse any flaws or issues in Islam that they might find controversial, all in the name of slandering the religion and asserting their viewpoint.

Cite this page

Islamophobia: Islam and Muslim. (2016, Oct 13). Retrieved from

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