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5 Things Americans Must Know About Islam And America

People think they know about the relationship between Islam and America, but they probably don't know some important things

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1. Islam existed in America since it's very beginning

No need to shake you're head in disbelief. It's true. People tend to think that Islam isn't a thing in America and that it didn't come to America until way later. But Islam has been as involved in America's history as Christianity. For example, many of the slaves who were brought to America were Muslim and brought their religion with them across the Atlantic.

2. Being Muslim does not mean being Arab

Ha. Still think that? Well in reality, Muslims are one of the most diverse communities found in the United States. There are many people with diverse ethnic backgrounds, like Latinos and Black people, that identify themselves as practicing Muslims. There are even White people practice Islam. So Muslims are not just Arabs with long beards.

3. Islam is not oppressive towards women

Yup. Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not oppressive towards women. People believe that it is, especially because of what occurs in the Middle East, but what is actually oppressing them is the societal issues that occur in their country, not the religion. In the United States, there was a recent campaign to gain gender equality when it comes to leadership in the Muslim communities. So there is not actual oppression mandated by the religion. And no, the hijab is not a symbol of oppression.

4. The CIA sort of created terrorism in the Middle East

Is it? Not really. There is actually a book that dedicates a whole chapter explaining how the CIA, so technically America, was involved in the creation of the "infrastructure of terrorism" during the Afghanistan war. You can buy it on amazon and read chapter three. It'll tell you all about it.

5. The term Jihad does not mean "holy war," again the CIA has a role in it.

Ever heard of the term "jihad?" You probably have in recent news when people are talking about terrorism. People have mistakenly assumed that it means "holy war." It is found in the Quran, but it does not mean that Islam is instituting violence as part of the religion. In the context of the Quran, jihad actually means "struggle," and does not say anything about participating in an armed war over religious/cultural differences. This info is also found in that book that was linked in number 4.


Curious to know more about Islam and it's relationship to America? Here are other books that provide some good info: Islam is a Foreign Country, The Cultural Roots of American Islamicism, Muslims in America, This Muslim American Life. Also, you can check out this website to learn more about Islam.

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