The average person watches the news on television, hearing about how bad things are in other parts of the world. He sees the murders, abductions and child killings and thinks, “Boy, am I glad I don’t live there among those uncivilized barbarians.”

Most are probably thinking that this is your opinion of what you see. And your feelings would be justified. However, this is also the image that others around the world would think of Dallas-Fort Worth if all they knew about us was what they saw on our evening news.

However, we know that just because we see on a daily basis murders, thefts, child abductions and rapes that this is not a representation of the entire population of Dallas-Fort Worth. Nor do we believe that all parents abuse their children, all men beat their wives or all priests molest young boys. We are capable of discerning the difference between the societal and religious values taught here and the actions of individuals. We should be able to do the same when we evaluate the societal phenomena in other countries and regions.

People from all over the world have committed crimes against humanity in the name of religion. History is full of this. Each used their religious doctrine to explain the need for their destructive behavior, that they are doing God’s will by committing those actions.

Just because a person uses a verse from a religious doctrine incorrectly for his own purpose does not mean that the doctrine is at fault or that it actually supports that heinous action.

Islam is constantly accused of teaching hate, intolerance and violence. Verses from the Quran are misstated or taken completely out of context.

Some even say that the Prophet Muhammad taught these things. That is untrue. No sayings of Muhammad speak of committing violence against innocent people. To the contrary, his words and his role modeling always encourage patience, understanding, dignity, care and concern for all humanity.


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