Am I a terrorist?
That’s the most common question people ask me when they find out I’m a Muslim. My brown skin color and my beard sometimes give it away. It’s pretty obvious.
“What makes you think I’m a terrorist?” I ask them back.
“News media.” They say as if it’s an unwritten law that Muslims are supposed to be terrorists.
I’m never aggressive when people are racist or Islamophobic. If I act the same way they do then what difference is there between us. I remain calm. People just have the wrong impression of Muslims.
My children on the other hand disagree. They believe in: you have to fight fire with fire. But I believe that fighting fire with fire can only cause an explosion. Don’t get me wrong I’m a strong believer of fighting for your rights, but using aggression can lead to an unstoppable war.
When my passengers mention media, I tell them that the media is controlled by people who want to influence other people. Media is basically a group of people that are biased. If I was a terrorist, I wouldn’t be driving a cab twelve hours a day to support my family. Neither would I be sitting in a taxi trying to explain to people why the media can be wrong. People need to understand that Muslims aren’t terrorists. Those that are, aren’t Muslim. Simple.
Another misconception people have is that Allah means moon god. That is not the case. Allah in Arabic means God. Non-Muslims that live in Arabic-speaking countries refer to God as Allah. This includes Jews and Christians.
In the Quran, God mentions humans as humankind 306 times. That’s an indication that Islam supports humanity. Some people get confused with some Quranic verses, but you need history and references to understand them.
Mohammed PBUH said in his last khutbah (speech), “All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also, a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
Islam puts weight on social welfare. We as Muslims don’t put emphasis on individualism but in a strong community. Part of the deen (religion) is service to humanity. Everyone has a set of rights: neighbors rights, children’s rights, a spouse’s rights, parents rights, orphan’s rights even animal rights. And then we have Sadaqh and Zakat. Zakat is a form of charity that is obligatory on every Muslim who is financially stable. Sadaqh is voluntary charity.
There are so many more examples from hadith (sayings narrated by Mohammed PBUH) and the Quran itself that talk about humanity.
I can give so many more examples, but there is no point of explaining anything to those who don’t want to understand.