Why do people have a misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims?

This is probably a very common question. But seriously, WHY.

I know media has a part on portraying an agenda whenever it wants, but despite knowing this why do some people know so little and continue being resentful against Muslims? I am sure there are a lot of extremist radical people doing things in the name of religion that are messed up, but how can you look at them and also at someone who is Muslim walking on your street in the same way?

I'm not saying agree and convert to the religion but why can't there be a level of respect. Why do people see a hijab (religious head scarf) and associate it with terrorism, rather than looking into the other persons eyes and see that they are a human before anything else.

Personally, I think it stems from ignorance. And the fear also stems from ignorance. No I am not saying people are stupid, but they are ignorant about the religion and those following it. They don't know what it is so they can only compare it with they have seen, been told, experienced or another religion. But an individuals reality of something does not make it the truth, it just makes it a perspective. Especially if their encounters were negative ones.

I am a muslim girl, and it is sometimes very hurtful seeing the resentment in peoples eyes, or the condensation in their voices. Or the fact that basically everyone thinks I am "opressed" because I wear the hijab.

I am a human being, and all I am asking is for others not to judge me based off the actions of others who claim to be "muslims" in the media, because I choose to lead a lifestyle far different than the American dream, because my religion is put into the context of western philosphy and scrutinized and deframed as oppressive. I have goals, ambitions, fears, dreams, etc like everyone else. You may encounter someone who is bad, who happens to be a muslim, but I hope you do not gneralize every single muslim to be like that.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • agree wid u... if one muslim's shitty doesn't mean all of 'em r shitty.. u can have wotever religion u want as long as u don't annoy others and don't force yer religion to others as well...

    also i've met a bunch of muslims here who r nice people :D

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Most Helpful Girl

  • People are suspicious of what they don't know or understand. This is the reason for most major wars - people hate groups they aren't a part of.

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What Guys Said 17

  • There is a lot of truth in what you say
    (1) It is fueled by media
    (2) A minority of extremists ruin it for the rest of your religion
    (3) A certain amount of ignorance pours more petrol on the fire
    (4) Everyone thinks their way is right and don't try to understand a different view
    (5) I believe there are 7 billion individuals in the world not a series of groups.

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    • Very good points @KDA20 !
      Your 5th point is especially enlightening :)

  • The main reasons behind the misunderstanding of Islam are:

    1. The media and its slaves.
    2. The nasty people who claim to be Muslims like ISIS and al-Qaida, and the nastier ones who created and are funding them which we all know how they are.

    I guess there are two types of people who misunderstand Islam:

    1. People who are unintentionally ignorant because they do know nothing about Islam and have never met any Muslims but they just go by what they see/hear from the media so we can't actually blame them here, especially that the media has its own intelligent way to misrepresent Islam, but once those people met Muslims and once they knew the real Islam, they would change their views.

    2. People who are intentionally ignorant, so they may or may not know the real Islam, but in either way, they don't care about the truth, they just want to hate and that's it, their reasonings might be being biased toward their faiths, bigotry or just being hateful human beings for no reason whatsoever.

    In fact, the more hate I see toward my religion, the stronger my faith gets and the prouder of being a Muslim I become.

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    • Agreed! The hate makes me want to defend it more, and I feel empowered knowing I can stand up for something I truly believe in.

      And yeah, people who are intentionally migrant... there are no words for that. Like on fox news... I won't say more because that is self explanatory.

  • This isn't gonna do it justice but...

    Here's the thing, some people are just haters. The greater number though is out of not knowing and not reading into it. Media is among the most powerful tools we have. Used properly it can inform a lot of people about a lot of things. Used improperly and you can twist anything and have people buy into a propaganda.

    It's far easier for many to just look at the 2 minute clip on a media outlet than it is for them to sit there and look up something and read into it to understand it. On top of this it's not always just a propaganda from the media but also the fact that they put on what they believe will keep eyes there for them to get the ad revenue. What keeps the eyes there? Among other things the scary unknown other so keep that party as the other and report as such. Plus highlight any bad news as bad news keeps your attention more than a happy go lucky story.

    And your statement on the individual's reality doesn't make it truth but just perspective. Yes but remember, to most people they won't see it that way. Their perception is their reality and with all they have going on in their lives as well as what all is going on in the world topped off with some propaganda usage by the media it seems that more and more people are having more difficulty differentiating reality from the illusions that are made for them by others or by themselves.

    Unless their perception changes or their illusion shattered with the truth behind something they'll keep focused on that and that will be the reality for them. For a majority this is the case regarding anything, for some this is changed by either a want in themselves or an outside factor showing them they're wrong in some way shape or form.

    While universal truth may not be measured in mass appeal it's safe to say that most people will just follow the mass appeal rather than move from it to find the truth.

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    • That does make a lot of sense and sheds some light onto why people are misinformed. Wish it wasn't that way, because there are people paying unreasonable consequences of certain individuals skewed perceptions.

      Thanks for your inference on the matter

  • Well, When you have groups like IS commiting genocide and destroying entire countries. And then have them gun down hundreds of innocent people on foreign soil, And they do it in the name of Islam, Then yeah... you can expect some pretty bad backlash from the international community.

    I'm sure if islam was ''The religion of peace'', Then thousands of people wouldn't be getting slaughtered in the Middeleast every week simply for not being muslim would they?

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    • You do realize that ISIS has killed more Muslim people than any other people of another religion. And to update you on your facts, a lot more Muslims have been killed in the Middle East than non muslims. ISIS has nothing to do with Islam, just a banner and words. And that is exactly what I mean. How can you believe that Islam is equivalent to ISIS when you have millions of other "normal" muslims walking around North America who are not killing and bombing other civilians? Why are you looking at a minority that erupted in mainstream media? You are getting everything you know from mainstream media and that is the issue.

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    • Just because they claim to be Muslim does not mean they reflect Islam. Anyone can "claim" to be anything, but that does not mean they reflect the actual belief system, especially when the majority of that religion is not killing and hurting others.

    • What ISIS is doing is terrible and horrific, and as a muslim I condemn their actions and a lot of other Muslims do as well. But they are using the name incorrectly for their vile and corrupt ways. The word "Islam" stems from the the root word peace, and not violence. So what they are doing is contrary to the central theme of the religion. They are killing Muslims and non muslims, and someone's verbal acclaim to a certain purpose does not mean that is their true motif, especially when it is hypocritical.

  • Let's just say it this way. Of course not all terrorists are muslims. But then again most terrorists you ever hear about are muslims.

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    • Where that come from? it's the media bro.. There is 1.6 billion Muslim around the world which make us Muslims 23.4% of the world population.. And when you here about mere a bunch of people who they name themselves Muslims (who they are not) and make awful things in the name of Islam.. you give yourself to judge all the 1.6 Muslims

      Where is the sense in that?

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    • Oh I completely agree on that. It does not reflect on the ideology as a whole. But all I'm saying is that this one particular ideology has more terrorists per capita than any other.

    • I see. But I am arguing that the word terrorism is being used loosely and in a bias state. Because the definition of terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. By that definition you will see that through present, and history, that Islam is not the primary ideology that has more terrorists than any other capita. At the end of the day, the attacks that are happening are not in the US. They are happening in Muslim countries, to Muslims as well. There have been more Muslims killed, more Muslim Countries broken down in the past couple years than any other population as a result of this 'terrorism'. The word terrorism is only being used in the context because it has somehow shown to be a 'threat' to the US. But is it really the ideology of Islam that is the threat? It has less to do with the correlation of terrorism and the ideology of Islam and more to do with political agenda.

  • The truth of the matter is that there are too many layers to peel back in order to understand it all and it's just easier to hate on something than to understand it. I have no love for Islam, or Christianity for that matter, but I understand that Muslims are just like anyone else, some are bad but most are just regular well intentioned people. As for why Muslim nations are in their current state, there are many reasons, some are self inflicted and some are the result of damaging outside interference.

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    • I personally don't see wearing a hijab as any different than wearing a yamaka.

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    • And I also meant to say 'what I'm trying to say is that'

    • Oh yeah, of course that is true. I agree with you in that respect.

  • I see were you are coming from, If people would understand that muslims are similar to christians, and yet misinformed people call ignorant shit out all the fucking time it's really quite aggravating. I am not even muslim and I feel angry I can't begin to imagine what they feel when they are all treated like crazy people. If it makes you feel any better when I hear people talk and I know they are misinformed I always set them straight, of course in a non-violent fashion otherwise I would not be any better than anyone else.

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    • Thank you, I appreciate you speaking out whenever you can, it gives me a lot of hope.

  • I have no problem at all with true Muslims and in fact I lived in Libya for nearly 10 years back in the 70's and for my trouble speak moderate Arabic. I had some really lovely friends who were Muslim and it is only this looney fundamentalist faction that is giving Muslims a bad name although here in UK they are not that quick to condemn the atrocities that ISIS are pulling

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    • I'm glad you had good experiences with Muslims. I wish others would realize that. Sadly, ISIS has become something people associate with Islam although it has nothing to do with it, and they are killing Muslims too. The political agendas are ridiculous.

  • Poeple in general have a twisted veiw of all religion. I blame science!

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  • This is not just about islam but also other religions, races, countries...

    I think best thing to do in case of you is not too take critic too personal, show them that although you are muslim you are just a normal girl who wants a happy life and always be open for questions and to explain things

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    • Yes I do try to do that :)

  • Just sayin, when you look into a terrorist's eyes you can also see that they're human. Why do you have to dehumanize sociopaths? They're people just like you and me.

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    • I'm not sure if you were intending irony in your post or not. How am I dehumanzing anyone? I was simply arguing that before anything else we are all human. I'm just putting myself into context because that is what I was writing about.

  • Living with muslim pakistanis in my community they have demonstrated such sexism towards women. Their own women they treat as slaves and they see white women as whores. What really suprised me about them was their racism.

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    • There are sexists and racists in every culture, race, and society. I think it has less to do with who they identify as and more to do with who they are as a person. That's sad to hear though, and yeah I also know some Pakistani men who are awful to their women and sexist af.

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    • There is still church burning and exceeding racism in the United States. The average pay for women in some professions in the US is not even equivalent to men in some works of fields. Racism and sexism exists everywhere, no matter how "modernized" and "pinnacle" a nation may sugar coat itself. The ratio rate may seem higher in some cultures, but Islam isn't a 'culture' its a religion. The standards for men and women in society are born upon cultural norms, not religious ones.

    • A report revealed that, since the 1990s, up to 1,400 young girls in the Yorkshire town had been regularly abused by sex gangs, predominantly composed of Asian men.

      A National Crime Agency investigation, which could run until 2018, last month announced that it had so far identified 300 suspects

      The suspects are ‘predominantly’ Asian men from the South Yorkshire town and include two who have worked for the council. Their victims are mainly white, British, underage and ‘vulnerable’ girls.

  • My friend. I am on your side. I am not a Muslim and I know most Muslims don't support terrorism.

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  • well I haven't forgiven Muslims for 9/11 yet (and I don't see that happening). And then there are suicide bombers, kidnappings/beheadings... my area has seen multiple acts of terrorism. It doesn't make me want to give Muslims the benefit of the doubt. I want them to just stay out of my country so we can be at peace.

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    • How do you even know know Muslims caused 9/11? Why are you blaming an entire society for the actions of a group? That's ignorance to the 10th degree. There are 'bad' people in every culture and religion. Limiting the amount of Muslims in your area will not guarantee you 'peace'. I'm not sure where you live but most of the wars that are happening are in the Middle East where innocent lives and homes are being bombed. So many Muslims are being killed too and I don't think many people realize that.

  • Because people think the bad ones, represent the entire one

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  • It is a combination of media, and powerful political groups that have it out for muslims. The media portrays them as terrorists, Radical Christian groups see them as infadels, and feminists hate them, because they view thier lifestyle as a threat. While I do agree some of the laws are unjust, having a happy loving wife and mother at home is a good thing in my book. But ofcourse anything other than "men are pigs" and the idea that women must devote thier lives to thier jobs and feminists are all over it.

    They use money to fill tv, internet, magazines, any media they can about how evil muslims are. All for diffeent reasons of course. In the end, it is ignorance that people trust the media rather than their own eyes.

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    • Of course there are going to be people who are against some parts of the ideologies, and you have pointed it out yourself quite politely. There's no wrong in that. But yeah, some people's reactions are baffling. It has some very controversial themes, but not many people are willing to sit down, research reasoning of such laws, or actually 'discuss' about it - a lot of arguments, but very little beneficial discussion.

      You've shed some good light onto your own opinion, and very respectively. Appreciated.

    • I tried not to touch on my own opinion. I have worked with people from all over the world, including muslims, since I was a teenager. Any large enough group of people are just that. People. Some are good, some are bad, and there is a huge difference between ignorance and evil though.

    • Yeah, I agree. You don't have to agree with any of its teachings, but associating the religion with evil is just... wrong. And I'm quite saddened that some people on here think that Islam is barbaric and are twisting political motives with religion ones. It is what it is though.

  • I look at them the same way I look at anyone else who I think has allowed a delusion to shape and control their life. It's just easier to spot them because they dress distinctively. You can't usually tell if someone is a born again Christian or a Scientologist by looking at them. I look at Muslims the same way I look at the Amish or Orthodox Jews.

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What Girls Said 9

  • I think it's mainly because in our modern day world, Muslims are the only religious group who are still being barbaric, slaughtering each other, and declaring war on non-Muslims simply for not believing in what they believe in. It's also a pain in the ass when non-radical Muslims try to shove their religion down your throat or disprove your religion by yapping on and on about theirs.

    There are a lot of people who don't intend to judge Muslims. You have to consider how crazy and ridiculous aspects of Shria law and Islam may look in the Western world. I believe it was Kuwait where a teenage female and her boyfriend were fooling around on a webcam Some hacker got ahold of the footage and threatened to share it if she didn't give him money. She didn't give him money so he shared it where the entire Kuwaiti community ended up finding out. This young woman, a teenager, was buried to her neck and stoned to death by the government fir embracing her sexuality in the privacy of her home. That sounds crazy as hell and intrusive where I'm from.

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    • "The only religious group who are still being barbaric." Sorry, but who attacked Gaza? Who invaded Afghanistan? Do you expect Muslim countries to sit back while other countries start attacking and invading their lands without any permission? You only only associate barbaric with Islam because thats what you hear again and again on the news, but no one ever associates corruption with America whose still suffering from a racial crises, who was the pinnacle nation of slavery, who donates millions of tax dollars to Israel to bomb innocent Palestinian civilians.
      And you're saying that only Muslims try to preach, but I guess you might not have ever seen a Christian, catholic, or Jehovah witness preach either. And none of those groups are "shoving" down anything in your throat, you can walk away and cover your ears.

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    • Maybe when you're disinterested in hearing someone talk on GAG, you choose not to reply, but we have different personalities hon. Don't assume that just because you would choose a certain next step, some random stranger would do the same thing.

      You are talking waaaay too much. It would be easier to hear you out if you would condense your thoughts instead of kinda sorta really acting like my post is an online journal. It's not that I'm being judgmental, it's just that I don't have the time to be sitting on GAG reading all of that over a topic that I'm not all that interested in going back and forth with.

    • No offense, but I didn't even read your writing let alone "take it seriously."
      You asked for opinions; you didn't request that people take extended effort and time to read lengthy posts from you :/

  • I totally agree with you and I think that people are ignorant in general. especially when it comes to religions.

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  • You nailed it - ignorance and fear.

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    • or disinterest and exhaustion from pushy Muslims.

    • @Esplorare It's funny how you're saying Muslims are pushy and "shoving their religion down your throat" when you're basically shoving your opinion on posts that have nothing to do with you.

    • I literally don't recall ever dealing with a pushy Muslim...

  • Because some people are ignorant.

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  • Media interpretation

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  • After watching an Intelligence Squared debate called "Is Islam a religion of peace?" my views have changed.

    Looking at the world around me confirms this changed view.

    People vary of course, but too many of them let the ideology control their soul.

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    • And what is this changed view may I ask? I have also heard of the debate, but I hope you listened to both sides of the coin before leaning to one mindset.

    • I really want to believe this 'no compulsion in religion' thing, but it's kinda hard when most muslim-majority countries make leaving islam a criminal/capital punishment, that's often carried out by its people if no such law is in place, amongst other things.

    • The no compulsion in religion is a religious statement, what Muslim countries do have less to do with religion, and more to do with Political correctness. At the end of the day, an ideology doesn't always run the country. You have people - sometimes corrupt and narrow minded sitting behind their chairs calling the shots. And that is true for every country not just Muslim majority countries. When laws are carried through in the US it is because of political system, but when a law is carried through a Muslim country it is quickly assumed to be because of the religion and not the political system. Of course there are elements of the religion tied into the society, but not all of it is a means to follow religious ordeals, and has more to do with power.

  • Its all the muslim terroists fault

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  • I agree with you.. I m Muslim too.. the people who think like that are ignorant fools.

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    • People think they know a lot about Islam, and make judgements based on whatever they hear and read. When in fact, they know very little about Islam.

  • They just do. ...

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    • I think there's always a reason behind it nonetheless

    • @Asker I explained the reason to you truthfully and you began bitching at me, trying to change my mind.

    • @Esplorare How did I bitch at you? I was simply trying to explain my view point as well. You don't have to agree with me, neither do I expect you to over a short opinion. If you post an opinion here, expect a response.

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