The perception of Islam in the West must be the most manipulated, meddled with and severely deformed of opinions in the world. Forces drive the mass media work wholeheartedly and with the utmost dedication to defame Islam. The mass media are their best weapon against us, and they try to use it in every way they could to twist the perception of Islam in the west.
Then I wonder could this ever change? Can we ever be looked at as we really are instead of what the media portrays us to be? The answer comes pouring that the only source that can do this is today’s Muslim Ummah itself; person to person. Every drop counts in building an ocean, and if it is poisoned by mass media, we can purify it through the example of our own character and most importantly through “Dawah”.
The world is becoming so integrated especially through social networking sites like Facebook that people from across the world get to know each other on a more personal level; which gives us an opportunity to interact with the West and make them learn more about our beautiful religion.
Youtube videos are another source through which western opinions about Islam could be changed. Many converts from the West give credit to youtube videos about Islam for bringing them to the truth. Hence, uploading informative videos about Islam on youtube gives us an opportunity use their weapons to defend our religion.
Also, by the grace of Allah, we have “Dawah missions” running in many western countries by our brothers and sisters who not only help in fixing the perception of Islam but have also brought many under its shadow. “Dawah” (invitation to Islam) is the need of the hour and every Muslim needs to make it a part of his life and learn effective methods of practicing it if we want to bring a change soon.
We might think that it is a lost cause and things can never change, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that most western converts were absolutely sure and ardent on their belief that all Muslims are terrorists before setting forth in their journey towards truth themselves, and the best part is that more than often Western converts make even better Muslims than those who are born with the blessing.
Then, there is a third ray of hope. Although the mass media drives the perception of Islam in the west, there are still many who choose to see with their own eyes. The truth can never be hidden for too long and I think a day is near when the mass media would look like a fool in their own face when people would be so aware that nobody would want to buy their drama anymore.
Meanwhile, the best we can do is to perfect ourselves in our religion, and follow the Prophet’s (PBUH) Sunnah by being an example for the lost, and Allah will do the rest.
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