Three years isn’t too much for a cultural change or a widespread thinking of a society towards an issue, community or let’s be open … about Islam.
I was here in USA three years back and I’ve come back here just last week and the difference of the way people see Islam is amazing and almost unbelievable. 9/11 was a turning point for Americans and perhaps the whole western society and the interest in knowing the fine-print of Islam started almost from the 10th September itself but this exploration of a Religion will result in such a negative way, was kinda unexpected for me at least.
America is a different society compared to Europe. Europeans has had access to Islam for many centuries, a lot had been written and discussed in European Societies and Islam has never been an Alien Religion to them. But for Americans, 9/11 was a kind of wake-up call, they suddenly decided to start Googling about Islam and learn what Islam is and isn’t. Turn on the TV, read newspapers, magazines or any social media web sites, Islam is discussed heavily. And as it happens, sometimes the things that are discussed are true but quite often its an exaggerated claim driven by emotions.
Prophet Muhammad’s 12 wives, concubines, Quran describing how to beat your wife, sex with slave girls, Polygamy, contradictions in Quran, Allah created man from Clay, mountains holding earth and other scientific errors are now openly discussed on everyday basis here and to be honest a lot of times there is an element of making fun of all these things. The word Jihad is now part of the day-to-day lingo of this society and it will be quite hard to find people who cant spell this word properly. People like Bill Maher and Irshad Manji have further helped Americans to understand more about Islam.
But the question arises that What Muslims are doing to control this Islamophobia (if using this word makes you happy) ? Answer is a Lot, in fact quite a lot … thanks to the Saudi Petro Money, there are heaps of books available, there is a counter web site for any Anti-Islam site and there are TV Channels dedicated to Islam Explanations … but how effective is all this ? problably not much …
Problem as I see is that Muslims still do not understand the significance of this shift in thinking towards their religion by the outside world. They like to live in their delusional world where everything is just perfect and makes complete sense and anyone who lives outside that imaginary boundary is nothing but a Lost Soul who will get answers to all their questions on the day of judgement. Typical responses such as wrong translation, a new meaning has been found of a particular arabic word, the context of the verse or hadith, and blaming on the one who is asking questions that he is unable to understand the truth just because he doesn’t have faith … all these excuses have not only failed terribly to secure Muslim Interests but in fact these are now source of a new fun-making campaigns on TV Shows such as the one hosted by Bill Maher.
I wonder when will Muslims wake up and realize that the questions asked by others are not only legitimate but that the answers (or lack of answers) is only going to make it ugly by each day …