[Hopefully this will clear up some of the ignorance that some continue to spread]
The crescent moon is a universal symbol of IslamThe early Muslim community did not really have a symbol. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Islamic caravans and armies flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes. The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years, and wasn't affiliated with Islam at all until the Ottoman Empire placed it on their flag.
Muslims worship a moon-godSome non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Allah is an "Arab god," a "moon god," or some sort of idol. Allah is the proper name of the One True God, in the Arabic language. The most fundamental belief that a Muslim has is that "There is only One God," the Creator, the Sustainer -- known in the Arabic language and by Muslims as Allah. Arabic-speaking Christians use the same word for the Almighty.
Muslims don't believe in JesusIn the Qur'an, stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called 'Isa in Arabic) are abundant. The Qur'an recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, and the miracles he performed by God's permission. There is even a chapter of the Qur'an named after his mother, Mary (Miriam in Arabic). However, Muslims believe that Jesus was a fully human prophet and not in any way divine himself.
Most Muslims are ArabsWhile Islam is often associated with Arabs, they make up only 15% of the world's Muslim population. The country with the largest population of Muslims is Indonesia. Muslims make up 1/5 of the world's population, with large numbers found in Asia (69%), Africa (27%), Europe (3%) and other parts of the world.
Islam is intolerant of other faithsThroughout the Qur'an, Muslims are reminded that they are not the only ones who worship God. Jews and Christians are called "People of the Book," meaning people who have received previous revelations from the One Almighty God that we all worship. The Qur'an also commands Muslims to protect from harm not only mosques, but also monasteries, synagogues, and churches -- because "God is worshipped therein."
Islam promotes "jihad" to spread Islam by the sword and kill all unbelieversThe word Jihad stems from an Arabic word which means "to strive." Other related words include "effort," "labor," and "fatigue." Essentially Jihad is an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. The effort may come in fighting the evil in your own heart, or in standing up to a dictator. Military effort is included as an option, but as a last resort and not "to spread Islam by the sword."
The Quran was written by Muhammad and copied from Christian and Jewish sourcesThe Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of two decades, calling people to worship One Almighty God and to live their lives according to this faith. The Qur'an contains stories of Biblical prophets, because these prophets also preached the message of God. Stories are not merely copied, but the oral traditions are referred to in a way that focuses on the examples and teachings that we can learn from them.
'And when it is said to them,'Believe in what Allah has sent down,'they say,we believe in what was sent down to us.'And they disbelieve in that which came after it,while it is the truth confirming what is with them. Surah 1,ayat 91 [verse from Qur'an]
Last edited by Sheyanne; 10-12-2011 at 07:26 AM..
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Islam is not intolerant of other faiths. Some Muslims (being human, and therefore having free will, and making errors) are, unfortunately, though.
We disagree. In my opinion Islam, the religion itself, is intolerant. It is not a matter of some errant intolerance by some minor of its adherents. The religion itself doctrinally says that it alone has the truth and must proactively subjugate all to it. In other words, it can not tolerate any other religion.
Intolerance is practiced by all religions toward all other religions . . . it's just another way of dividing 'us vs. them'. It's not the religion, it's the fact that it's practiced by humans.
I think you are conflating exclusivity with intolerance. I definitely do not agree that all religions are intolerant. If only one single religion could tolerate the existence of others then you are incorrect. In addition a religion can be exclusionary and still be tolerant. That is, a religion can declare that it holds to certain creeds as "truth" while not insisting that others must agree with them and tolerate other religions as disagreeing with them.