By: Maged Taman
One of the appalling facts in Islam is its apparent paradox. In a way it helps many in the west to dispute Islam in one glance. In another way it makes some wander why about 1.2 billion people are following this religion and Islam is the fastest growing religion. The paradox is related mainly to the inability and unwillingness to examine fairly Islam. I examine here this paradox:
1- Peace or wars: Like Judaism and Christianity Islam is a peaceful religion. However oppression of God's people have occurred through history and people fought back the oppressors. When there is no oppression coexistence is the role in Islam.
2- Pro or anti-Jew-Christian: When Jews and Christians are under Islamic role they are called "the people in our protection" they should be justly treated and protected. Discrimination and oppression are anti-Islamic. For Jews and Christians that are rolling their countries international cooperation and even alliance is encouraged. We can get the best of the two worlds.
3- Freedom or oppression of women: The problem with Islamic ultra-conservatives is that they try to recopy the Islamic world at the time of the prophet. Women did not work most of time because of hardship of jobs. With keeping dignity of women they can work and grow in most professions.
4- Spirituality or Materialism: Islam is a very balanced religion. The normal is to marry one wife and raise a family. Polygamy is very exceptional. It was a test to the prophet and no one matches his spirituality. Material life is in fact lived through our spirituality. You act on all your life as if God watching you. You enjoy all the gifts God has given you. In fact, a real good Muslim is a great asset to any work place. He should be honest, nice, considerate, conscience, ...
5- Unity or disparity: Islam is supposed to be one sect only, like other religions and everything in the world Satan has spoiled. For good Muslims even the unity of each religion should be considered a triumph. Coexistence would be much easier as the world is less diverse.
6- Domination or coexistence: Any good Muslim will like to have every one in the world a good Muslim. However, we have to do it politically right. We are not going to destroy the world in order to dominate it. Similarly, a lot of Muslims will refuse to live under oppression. Coexistence is the best way to strike the right balance. However this will need a lot of politics. If someone converts to Islam at any time we will be happy. However we need to convert Muslims first.
7- Revenge or forgiveness: Justice is the right balance. Forgiveness is the role for minor and unintentional things. Forgiveness is usually linked to ability. This means that you were able to retaliate and then you chose to forgive.
8- Love or hate: the best love in Islam is that of God and for people that are righteous and share you the love of God. If you love God you obey him. Hate is very exceptional and stems from injustices. Love of God is more stressed in Christianity while fear of God is more in the old testament and Quran. God basically tried everything with us to get us righteous. So love him or fear him or have it both in your heart, obeying him is the real proof if you love or fear him. In Islam actually it is believe that God would forgive injustices against him than injustices we do to each other.
Thus Islam could be controversial if you choose not to look on the whole picture and is very truthful if you look on the whole picture.