'Islam as religion of peace' is more than just a cliche
By Harun Yahya
'Islam is the religion of peace' has almost become an unconvincing cliché, especially for those who are not really familiar with the true Islam. Many people find it hard to believe that Islam really defends peace given all the unrest in the world, the situation of the Middle East and the general circumstances surrounding the Islamic world. They naturally ask the question, "How are we supposed to believe it when all these wars are being waged in the name of Islam"? They are right in a sense, as war is not the way to bring peace. So there is one fact that we have to keep in mind: Those who prefer war in the name of Islam are making a major mistake.
Regrettably, a majority of the Islamic world has abandoned the Qur'an now; they are resorting to resources other than the Qur'an and follow non-Qura'nic ways. This is the reason behind the wars waged in the name of Islam, the reason behind the system of tyranny and why they try to introduce religion through oppression and persecution instead of democracy. Another painful outcome of this non-Qura'nic religion is the rise of a primitive and crude lifestyle built around misogyny, a general hostility towards art and beauty in life and a notable lack of refinement.
A recent video focusing on the efforts of Muslim women in Russia on building a positive image for Muslims. The efforts seem promising, especially given the fact that in recent years Islam has suffered from a drastic misrepresentation, which in turn, has heavily contributed to Islamphobia. As a part of this project, one fashion designer, one public relations advisor and one composer work together to increase the life quality of the Islamic community in Russia and to alter the bad publicity surrounding the Muslims.
Russia is home to a large Muslim community as it is to various ethnic groups. Currently, there are some two million Muslims living in Moscow, 16% of the city's total population. Due to high birth rates, experts estimate that this number will reach 25% of the overall Russian population in the next couple of decades. It is a known fact that the country, with a sizable Muslim population, has suffered from some radical movements in the past. However, Russian Muslims say that general lifestyles, as well as the perception of Muslims, have significantly changed. For this reason, they believe that working on bettering their image in a way that befits the true Islam is urgently needed.
This image improvement will surely have important implications and desirable outcomes. Indeed, there are lots of things that need to change in the world so that people can really be introduced to the true Islam. However, the first thing to be done is putting an end to the crude and unrefined style that has come to be known as Muslim style, which Muslims have mistakenly developed over the years based on erroneous religious resources. As Muslims begin to improve their culture and civilization, which should encompass everything from an enviable taste in clothing, to a peaceful, extroverted and lively character that champions the arts, they will be more accepted and welcomed by the rest of the world. It is not surprising that the current widespread image of Muslims, which paints a portrait of a hateful people living uncivilized lives with an inexplicable hostility to art, music and science, creates a backlash and resistance in those countries where Muslims are minorities. For this reason, it would be far wiser to analyze the consequences of these incorrect Islamic views, which largely stem from superstitions, rather than trying to put the entire blame on others for Islamphobia.
This new project in Russia is highly commendable in that its fashion designs cater to ladies with and without headscarves, that it involves celebrities and artists, public figures, singers and most importantly, due to the fact that Muslim women are leading the project. When Russian society sees that Islam attaches great importance to women, amazing developments will follow, society's ungrounded fears will be eliminated and the beautiful people of Russia will be more at peace and more comfortable.
It has never been more important for Muslims, especially in countries where they are a minority, to lead the way to others in peace and love. It is impossible to build peace and love in a society by ignoring the real reasons behind Islamphobia. To build this beautiful basis, it is paramount that Muslims prove to the world that they are highly sophisticated, loving and peaceful people that respect every faith and ethnicity; any effort to this end will help greatly. Needless to say, the most effective step and solution will be adopting and spreading an educational model aiming to eliminate the incorrect understanding of Islam which has resulting from the embrace of superstitions.