The U.S. media constantly belittles, derides, or haughtily stares down its nose at Islam when it doesn’t slander it, and the media does these things hour by hour, day in, and day out. Almost all the judgments of Islam in the media are political judgments which have no basis in fact. They are made in ignorance and one wonders such judgments can be made with such facility since there has been no attempt by reporters or commentators to inform themselves of the facts of the world’s great religions. American reporters describe Islam as a shadowy, vaguely criminal menace whose reach extends to the edges of the Earth and whose presence darkens the light of the sun. It is a system that desires to enslave free men, they say. No distinctions are made between the bloodthirsty, predatory fanatics in Iraq and Syria who use Islam to gain their own self-interested ends, and a religion whose goal is to improve and enlighten human conduct and perfect the human mind. In other words, it’s a bit like saying that the Sicilian Mob is merely a form of Capitalism.
The so--called “Christian Right” in America, whose main motive is to inflame its own sense of self-righteousness, displays very little, if any, sound understanding of Christianity, and they by instinct deride Islam, and their preachers appear to be cut from the same coarse cloth of ignorance, rigid bigotry, hostility and inane dogmatisms that inhabit much of the media. I listened very briefly to a local TV broadcast where a Christian preacher described Muhammad as a kind of Arab Hitler gobbling up the countries of Belgium and Holland. Everything was conquest, everything was consolidation and slavery. My jaw dropped as I listened. Clearly, there is not in this man’s Christian nature, any hesitancy, any caution, nor any sign of wanting to respect what he did not know. His vulgar goal was to cry up Christianity and cry down Islam. One wonders what was the effect of this ignorance had on his followers. It clearly would not be a good one.
This mischaracterization of Islam is truly disgusting to anyone with any mental integrity.
One of the most interesting expositors of Islam was Sayyid “Ameer Ali (1849-1928) He makes it clear that Islam was based on sound ethical and metaphysical principles. It believed, he said,” in the unity, immateriality, power, mercy and supreme love of the Creator.” It believes in charity and brotherhood among mankind; it believes in subjugating the passions; its followers are to manifest an outpouring of gratitude for what God as created and given them since is God s generous and good; it believes in the accountability of human behavior in reference to an afterlife. (The good in God’s eyes goes to heaven, bad goes to hell.)