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Field into an unfamiliar religious tradition: Islam - Research Paper Example

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Field Research into an unfamiliar religion tradition: Islam   Your compete name Submission date Abstract In this field research, I have identified my personal misconceptions about an unfamiliar religion, Islam. I selected Islam due to my growing concern about world peace and increasing incident of terrorism and its association with Muslims or Islam…
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Download file to see previous pages Field Research into an unfamiliar religion tradition: Islam I have never hated any religion or its believers, however, increasing terrorism and acts of destruction throughout the world associated with Islam led me to feel bad about Muslims and Islam in general. Selecting Islam as an “unfamiliar” religion for this field study reflects my curiosity stemming from widely accepted image of Islam and Muslims in media today.  During this field research I came across a few Muslim men and women both online and offline. I tried to discuss my concerns and ideas about Islam and asked for explanations. I also researched and read about Islam and its practices from Muslim view point. After analyzing my misconceptions and prevailing ideas about Islam, I found that Islam is negatively perceived and we must learn more about the religion and promote religious tolerance at every level. My Misconceptions about Islam The most disturbing was the idea that Muslims are Taliban, terrorists, or support terrorism in a way or the other. I have always imagined Muslim men with beard and Muslim woman with a veil or black covering with head scarf. I believed even educated Muslim men are oppressors; they are violent with their women and children. Somehow, I perceived that Muslims hate every other religion and want to kill people who belong to religions other than Islam. It is because Islam inspires them to fight or Jihad with non-Muslims. My most damaging misconception about Islam is that all Muslims truly follow Islam and hold similar views. I feel this perception led to all other misconceptions about and it seems true in most cases. Field Research and My understanding about Islam My meeting with Muslim people started with immediate debunking of my ideas about how a Muslim man or woman must look like. A Muslim girl from a small city of Pakistan (Multan) named Rafia is a PHD student in University of London. It was my first intentional encounter with a Muslim woman that too from a conservative society. I found her a confident, sophisticated and balanced person without any sign of oppression. Considering her an exception, I inquired about her family, friends, and neighbors in Pakistan. To my shock, most men around her support their women for getting education and become professional in different fields that vary from medical to law and IT. She told me that none of the girls around her are forced to wear veil, however, some voluntarily put on head scarves. Interestingly, she mentioned that she had worn headscarf for sun protection in her college days because she had to get exposed to sun quite frequently. Talking about education, she rejected the “stereotypical” media images and referred Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as torchbearer of knowledge and learning. Muhammad said, “Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim (men and women)” (Ibn Majah as cited in Anonymous, n.d.).Another version of the same hadith (Prophet's saying) is found to be quoted as “seeking knowledge is a duty for every Muslim man and woman” (Muhammad as cited in Parker-Jenkins, 1995, p.38).Furthermore, I found that Muhammad emphasized educating children at various instances. For instance, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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