Muslims have much in common with Christians and Jews.
Muslims, like Christians and Jews, worship the One God, Creator of the Universe. Allah is the Arabic word for God.
Muslims, like Christians and Jews, consider themselves spiritual descendants of Abraham.
Muslims, like Christians and Jews, pledge themselves to prayer, peace with justice, harmony, cooperation, compassion, charity, family responsibility, tolerance toward people of other faith traditions, and respect for the environment.
All three faiths have spread worldwide. Because of geographic dispersal, within each faith exist several sects with slightly different interpretations of politics, family, dress, and social life.
We Muslims want you to know that –
Muslims honor Biblical prophets, accord special esteem to Jesus and his mother, the Virgin Mary, and recognize as sacred the scriptures revealed to Moses and Jesus, namely the Torah and the New Testament.
Muslims are united in Islam, which means submission and peace. Submitting to the will of God and doing good define piety. The Quran is the final divine revelation, providing a complete guide for human behavior. Its text was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad between 610 and 632 A.D. Though revered by Muslims as the last of God’s prophets. Muhammad is not worshiped.
Muslim women, like men, have the right to obtain an education, own property and engage in business, professions, and public life. Both women and men wear modest dress out of respect for public morality. If a society oppresses women or discriminates against them, it is in spite of Islam, not because of it.
The Muslim husband has the primary responsibility for family support, his wife for the household and children. Divorce is discouraged. Procedures vary by country, but either husband or wife may petition to dissolve a marriage. Polygamy, which was widely practiced in Biblical times, is subject to precise Quranic restrictions and is now seldom practiced, rarely where it violatei public law, as in America.
Muslims assume personal responsibility for relatives and others in need. In Islam, a woman or elderly person is almost never obliged to life alone.
Muslims are committed to rules. Sadly, some people who say they are Muslims – like some professed Christians and Jews – grossly violate these rules and the fights of others. In doing so, they do not act as Muslims. It is erroneous to call them Islamic fundamentalists, a term unknown in Islam and used mostly in fake stereotyping.
Jihad has two meanings: one, non-violent struggling within oneself for a life of virtue; the other, fighting for justice, a supreme goal in Islamic teachings. Islam eulogizes moderation and abhors extremism, terrorism, fanaticism, oppression and subjugation.
Muslims are proud to be Americans. They wish to be good citizens and neighbors by practicing their commitment to tolerance, charity, work, cooperation, and interfaith activities for community betterment.
Reprinted with permission from – Paul Findley, former Republican Congressman from Illinois and author of “Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam” and “They to Dare Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby”