Muhammad the Prophet - FEAR OF ISLAM
"Islam" means surrender. It is a religion whose adherents (called "Muslims," meaning those who have totally surrendered) believe in God (called Allah in Arabic). It is a religion that is much misunderstood in the West.
As with any religion, Islam has fundamentalist adherents whose actions are totally inconsistent with the faith itself. Like KKK members who professed to be Christians but lynched African Americans, or "pro-lifers" who themselves kill at abortion clinics, religious fundamentalists who claim their faith justifies their actions are still just terrorists. Over time, unfortunately, their violence causes non-practitioners to misunderstand the faith itself - and to fear it.
Actions of fanatical Muslims, both recently and historically, have contributed to a fear of Islam among non-Muslims:
- Militant Muslims plotted to kill U.S. Marines with a suicide truck bomb, then bragged about the explosion which annihilated 241 people and left a crater where a four-story building once stood;
- While Jimmy Carter was America's president, radical Muslims stormed the U.S. Embassy in Iran and held Americans hostage 444 days;
- A "group of fundamentalists" assassinated Anwar Sadat (Nobel Peace Laureate, Egyptian President and fellow Muslim) for trying to make peace with Israel;
- The Ayatullah Khomeini expressed what appeared to be intense hatred of the West;
- Radical Muslims perpetrated a terrorist attack on the United States.
Yet, when one examines the written source of the Muslim religion (the Koran) and the man who gave his people their book of faith (Muhammad), we see a completely different picture. And that picture raises other questions:
- Doesn't the Koran acknowledge many of the significant Jewish prophets and Biblical stories?
- If so, isn't there an inherent reason for the two faiths to find common ground?
- Doesn't the Koran state that Abraham is the father of both Jew and Arab and that Abraham walked with God?
- If so, does that mean Jews, Arabs and Christians all worship the same God?
Muhammad, who lived from 570 to 632, never claimed to be divine, and Muslims do not think of him in that sense. But Muhammad DID claim to be a prophet of God, and the Islamic faith contends he was the last of all the prophets sent by God.
For those who have not studied him, who was Muhammad? And what was his contribution to the faith practiced by so many of the world's population?
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