Essay on Understanding Islam

1752 Words Jan 12th, 2013 8 Pages
Understanding Islam
Christy A. Goff
Dr. Thornton
REL 212
September 8, 2012

In this paper, I will be reporting on my religious field research of Islam. The research that I have conducted has afforded me the opportunity to speak with, listen, and develop a stronger understanding of the Islamic faith. My research has also helped to dissolve some of the misconceptions that surround Islam. I will cover four major points throughout this paper. First, I will discuss preexisting misconceptions held against Islam. Second, I will analyze how my prior understanding of Islam was altered, or not, upon completion of my field research. Third, I will discuss whether or not I believe misconceptions of other people’s religions are common and
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With that said, we can now look at both is the misconceptions that I had before completing my research in more detail.
Altered Misconceptions of Islam
First, I would like to start with the misconception of the promotion of terrorism through the utilization of the Islamic religion. With the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93, I felt Islam was responsible entirely for the horrific act. Without understanding Islam, I simply assumed that any follower of the Islamic faith supported and promoted the attacks on our people. The fact that the nineteen terrorist that were part of the Islamist militant group Al Qaeda were celebrating in the name of “Allah” infuriated me. However, after speaking with followers of the Islamic faith, I now have gained the knowledge necessary to eliminate the misconception that Islam supports terrorism. Muslims do not support the violent acts that are being committed by a select group within their religion. They are against it and should not be discriminated against based on their Islamic faith by those who have the same misconception. My next misconception of the Islamic faith that I would like to discuss is the oppression of women. The idea Islamic communities are male dominated and women are considered to be second class citizens is a widely spread misconception. After

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