Do Muslims Have Misconceptions Against the West?

on Monday, September 23, 2013

Do Muslims Have Misconceptions Against the West?

A lot of ink and paper has been used in the debate on how the West has misinterpreted and misconceived Islam while little attention has been paid on how the vice versa has been taking place. For an immemorial time, the two different schools of thoughts and cultures have rubbed shoulders albeit with lots of distrust and cynic tendencies.

The Muslim world has characteristically fathomed many Western traits, beliefs and practices with such openness and overt proactive demeanor. This can be traced from past, recent and current civilizations throughout their contacts with the West or any other part of the world that may be considered in Islamic terms as sympathetic to the West or its causes. It is no secret that Muslim world is strongly against western democratic ideals, practices, cultural and social standpoints and liberalism. The reasons behind this position are difficult to understand to both the Muslims and the Westerners alike.

Do Muslims have misconceptions against the West?

Just like the west misunderstands, misconstrues, misconceives, mistrusts and mistakes many Islamic thoughts and practices, the same is reciprocated in equivalent or even greater fearlessness. Other adjectives can be added here to demonstrate how Muslims extend hatred and dislike to the West including that they are evil, unbelievers, inconsiderate, exploitative, mean, liberal and indifferent among many others. This position is cemented by the fact that the west is largely Christian by faith and economically superior. There is no doubt that as a result of the fact that they are mostly considered unbelievers and hypocrites (Kafir and Munafiqin), they are bounded together as hell-occupants.

Among the most popular misconceptions against the West by Muslims include the following;

That they are candidates and future hell-designates; evil, unrepentant, haters of the truth and persecutors of the followers of the true God. This is founded by the teachings of the Holy Prophet who underscored the importance of accepting Islamic ideals and Allah as the only God to be worshipped. Anyone opposed to the Prophetic teachings is guilty and sinful, and his fate is destined to divine fury and agony. However, the same case applies to those who reject Jesus. Therefore there should be tolerance and inclusiveness in all the facts of religious practice and avoid prejudicial judgements.

That the West is out to exploit and demean Islamic ideals, nations and populations. They are also after their economic and natural resources. It is a coincidence that most Muslim nations have oil as natural resource, and that most terrorists also hide under Islam and accumulate a lot of wealth through oil. With all this mix-ups, Muslims erroneously perceive this as economic invasion by the West, and therefore, intolerable.

The relationship between Israel and the West has been misconceived by Muslims as traitorous, unfathomable and suspicious. This has created an atmosphere that is unhealthy both politically and economically. All nations are free to interact and transact business of whatever magnitude with one another as long as the relationship poses no threat to the exercise of another nation’s sovereignty and freedom.

It is also notable that as a result of the misconceptions extended to the Muslims by the West, Muslims also have a reason to be suspicious and wary. It is therefore important to avoid misconceptions and embrace tolerance, objectivity, relativism and respect to diversity.

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