Myths and Misconceptions about Muslims

Five myths about Muslims in America (Washington Post)
by Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf

Image from Washington Post

People believe that American Muslims:
1. are foreigners.
2. are monolithic (the same ethnicly, culturally, and politically).
3. oppress women.
4. often become ‘homegrown’ terrorists.
5. want to bring shariah law to the United States.

The facts to dispel the myths:

  • According to a 2009 study by Gallup, Muslim American women are not only more educated than Muslim women in Western Europe, but are also more educated than the average American.
  • According to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, more non-Muslims than Muslims were involved in terrorist plots on U.S. soil in 2010.
  • Islam was in America even before there was a United States. But Muslims didn’t peaceably emigrate — slave-traders brought them here.
  • Sixty-six percent of American Muslim households earn more than $50,000 per year — more than the average U.S. household

Common misconceptions about Muslim Americans (

Muslims want to impose Shariah laws in America? Similar to Jewish Halacha, Shariah laws are a religious code of conduct (pertaining to marriage, inheritance, etc.) for Muslims only; they cannot be imposed on non-Muslims. Divinely inspired, Shariah is also a covenant, an Islamic Magna Carta, between the Islamic rulers and the ruled.”



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Mosque Open Day

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NJ Turks talk about their decisions to wear the headscarf

New Jersey area Turks reveal their journeys to the hijab


“Covering your head cannot be done to please others, it must have meaning to person choosing to do it,” says Koc.

On a recent Friday evening, Rukiye Koc holds a women’s circle in her home in Elmwood Park. She, along with her children and her husband Levent, moved to the United States in 2002. Levent Koc is the director of the Interfaith Dialogue Center (IDC), which opened in Carlstadt in 2003.

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Jews reach out to Muslims

Jewish group intervenes in Gwinnett mosque fight

Islamic Centre of North Fulton from AJC website

The Anti-Defamation League said Wednesday it was intervening in the case to support the Islamic Center of North Fulton. The congregation claims the city of Alpharetta has illegally blocked its plan to construct a new worship center.

The city has rejected the application, saying that the congregation vowed it would not expand when the center was built in 1998.

In another article from the Atlanta Journal covered the Islamic-Jewish gathering.

Friday through Sunday, more than 100 mosques and 100 synagogues in 22 countries joined together for a weekend of twinning — pairing people of different faiths — in an effort to bridge the gaps between Judaism and Islam and confront prejudice toward both.

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Mo and Mos on the Amazing Race

From Herald Sun site

“Melbourne mates Mo and Mos share a strong friendship and an Islamic faith. Will their background create a few extra obstacles on the race?”
Mo and Mos on the Amazing Race (by Yahoo7)

“The boys, who grew up in Melbourne, said The Amazing Race is a great way to break down stereotypes, and in their case what it means to be Muslim.”
Melbourne’s own Amazing Race

In this Yahoo7 video, the guys explain why they’re doing this race.

Here is another piece by the the Herald Sun titled “Muslim contestants race with purpose”.

Doesn’t everyone have a purpose? Why did they include this information about their faith? Does it matter? Here is the standfirst: “The Amazing Race’s only Victorian contestants, Mohammed El-Leissy and Mostafa Haroun, hope they show how Muslims really behave in Channel 7’s adventure reality series.”

What I find frustrating is that we always have to pick SOMEONE to represent how Muslims REALLY ARE (because apparently we don’t show that to the world).

Image from Heral Sun

Haroun and El-Leissy are both against banning women wearing headscarfs in public and said the Government should try to speak to the Islamic community and focus on more pressing issues such as health and education.

“People often think Muslims are angry, old, bearded men making fatwas against each other,” El-Leissy said.

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This week’s links: The Amazing Race, church hands out free Qurans and more

The Amazing Race 2011 Australia has two practicing Muslims. Will they fall behind because they need to stop to pray? (video)

Utah Church offers free Qurans in Easter gesture (from Islamophobia Today)

The Wasatch Presbyterian Church has ordered 50 copies of the Koran to be distributed at a local bookstore starting on Monday.

“We’re not promoting Islam, we’re not saying the Koran is the Bible,” said Scott Dalgarno, the church’s pastor. “We’re just saying that if people are curious, if they want their consciences informed on this issue … then let them pick up a copy on us and read it and decide for themselves what to think.”

He said the giveaway was a response to Terry Jones, the leader of a fringe, fundamentalist church in Gainesville, Florida.

Dalgarno says he has received some negative feedback since word of the Koran giveaway was announced but that he would do the same thing for other faiths

How did the Muslim community respond to the Quran giveaway?

Quran giveaway fortifies Utah Christian-Muslim bond
(from Utah News)

The luncheon — prepared in Muslim homes and shared at the church — was a thank-you from the Muslim women, who were delighted by Wasatch’s giveaway earlier this week of free copies of the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

“You,” said Angela Young, a convert to Islam, “extended the first hand.”

The giveaway of nearly 70 books resulted from a suggestion two weeks ago by Wasatch’s new pastor, the Rev. Scott Dalgarno, that church leaders put money behind their belief that education informs faith. It also was a response to a Florida preacher’s burning of the Quran in March, an act that triggered riots and dozens of deaths in Afghanistan.

What do Muslims mean to America?” (from

President Obama, for one, realizes this. “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers,” he declared in his inaugural address. “We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.”

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