Let’s face it. If ten million Muslims were to claim Islam to be a peaceful religion, it would simply get ignored. However, if one hundred influential Christian and Jewish leaders were to claim the same, followers of those faiths might actually take a moment to listen. It is human nature to not believe someone who is defending themselves. It is partially the logic behind attorney representation (in addition to the idea that they know the law better). Anyone who is under character attacks needs to recognize the significance of advocates.
Religious leaders of Abrahamic faiths (religions that stem from the prophet Abraham), can be a powerful force to remove the stigma attached to the entire religion of Islam. Muslims need to acknowledge the role that leaders of Abrahamic faiths can play in clearing the air and improving Islam’s arguably disturbing and unfair public opinion. This is not to say that Muslims should sit back and let others do the work. Muslims should continue to do their part and educate others about what they believe in to give a first-person account of what they understand their faith to be, and how they choose to practice their faith.
Interestingly enough, young people are probably more likely to defend Islam because their generation is more homogeneous. While they may be less educated on current events, they may be more educated about others in the world thanks to social media. This leads me to believe that they may keep more of an open-mind about others compared to much older generations.
Below is an interesting YouTube video by AreWeFamousNow that shows New York’s mixed views on Muslims. As one of the most diverse cities in the world, you may find the reactions to be quite interesting as well.
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