Have a blog? Sick of people getting false information which lead to negative perceptions about Islam? Then let’s share some simple facts. (Yes, even if you do not wear the hijab. Yes, even if you are a smoker. Yes, even if you listen to heavy metal music. No doubt we should improve ourselves for the better yet still, nobody can take the right of spreading positive vibes from us. Well… at least that’s what I believe. And I’m no religion-genius.)

The Inspired by Muhammad campaign is designed to improve the public understanding of Islam and Muslims. It showcases Britons demonstrating how Muhammad inspires them to contribute to society, with a focus on women’s rights, social justice and the environment. The campaign coincides with a national poll conducted by YouGov which shows that 69% of people believe that Islam encourages the oppression of women, that just 6% of people associate Islam with justice and that a mere 6% believe that Islam promotes active measures to protect the environment. Overall, nearly half of all people in the UK believe that Islam does not have a positive impact on British society.

I’m aware that not all of you readers are Britons but that’s not the question. Islam is in every country and your blog can be viewed by everyone in the world. The question is: Why not? :)

The Exploring Islam Foundation recently commissioned YouGov to survey public perceptions of Islam, Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad. Here are the results.

Knowledge of Islam

  • 60% say they don’t know very much about Islam
  • 17% say they know nothing at all
  • 33% would like to know more about Islam

Sources of information on Islam

  • 57% obtain most of their information about Islam from the TV news
  • 41% obtain their information about Islam from newspapers
  • Just 3% get most of their information on Islam from Muslim organisations
  • 31% feel that information about Islam is not very accessible
  • 5% say that information is not accessible at all

Perception of Islam

  • 58% associate Islam with extremism
  • 50% associate Islam with terrorism
  • Just 13% associate Islam with peace
  • 6% associate Islam with justice
  • Only 16% think that Islam promotes fairness and equality
  • Only 6% believe that Islam promotes active measures to protect the environment
  • 41% disagree or strongly disagree that Muslims have a positive impact on British society
  • 69% believe that Islam encourages the repression of women

The Truths

Social justice was a term coined in the 1840s and is a guiding principle for all societies today just as it was fourteen centuries ago in the Arabian desert.

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The right to vote, to inheritance, education, a role in politics and civic society were controversial and groundbreaking ideas that Muhammad promoted for women in a seventh century society that regarded them as mere possessions.

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The environment has been the hot topic of the last few decades, yet green concerns were nothing new in seventh century Arabia, particularly not to a man dubbed an environmentalist of his time.

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“Even a smile is charity” said Muhammad who encouraged helping others no matter how small or great the deed.

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“Seek knowledge – even if it takes you to China” was the instruction of Muhammad to his companions in seventh century Arabia. EDIT: Sister Hana Fedora told me that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w never said seek education till China nor till death, it's a doubtful hadith, no strong chain to support this. Whatever it is, Allah knows best.. and education we must seek, as even the first word of Quran is Iqra' which means 'read'.

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“For every disease there is a cure” forms the ethos driving medical researchers today to treat debilitating conditions like cancer.

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While Britain’s oldest animal shelter system was formed in nineteenth century Britain, Islamic civilisation was committed to animal welfare centuries earlier owing to the instructions of Prophet Muhammad.

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The 1948 UN charter on human rights proclaims “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, words that echo Muhammad’s practices over fourteen centuries ago.

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The core Islamic principle is that of equality between all of humankind.

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What Can You Do?

  • You can link in your blog and share it in your Facebook with that thousands friends of yours! ;)
  • You can spread around the pictures and the data above.
  • You can go here, save some banners in your computer, display them in your blog or better, print them out as posters for your class, school, college, uni, workplace – any location where heaps of people could have a look at it!
  • You can read the content of the website (they’re no brainer, really; nothing too encyclopedic so don’t worry!) and give the right information to your Non-Muslim friends. Or your unconvinced Muslim friends, for that matter.
  • You can (you should!) always be nice and kind to everyone regardless of their religions and beliefs because that’s what Prophet Muhammad would do. And seriously, nobody would make the effort to respect and understand our religion better if we ourselves are behaving like shit. Sorry. I meant, poo.

Remember that there are so many false information out there and here on the internet, so beware of what you read, hear and watch. Remember that Holy Quran is our only true, crystal-clear guidance, so be careful of inaccurate versions. Remember that if there’s anything wrong (I think terrorism and misuse of polygamy would be some of the most common examples), it’s the followers (who misunderstand things or were misinformed), not our religion Islam and definitely not our Prophet Muhammad.
As salam and have a splendiferous day!

source: Wani Ardy.