Okay, cool thread.
I've read the responses so far.
Before I list my impressions, I want to make it clear that these are my impressions
only, and I don't truly "know" about Islam beyond my
impressions. In my worldview, I would need to immerse myself in the culture - or at least with people of the culture - to be "knowledgeable". An
outsider's view is never the same as a participant or an immediate connection.
Here goes, these are the things I've been made aware of, whether TRUE OR NOT, I don't know.:
-- Islam claims that Mohammed is the last prophet.
-- He was not a pillar of "good behavior".
-- Jesus was a Messiah, and Mohammed was a prophet.
-- Allah is "God", the only "God."
-- Women are to be covered up completely or at least their heads covered, so that they are not "seductive" to men.
-- Women are not allowed to speak to men other than their family members.
-- Muslims have prayer rugs and use those to "pray", wherever or at any time. (I thought they were supposed to face "Mecca" while doing this, but
the taxi drivers I saw every day usually aimed North rather than East).
-- They are not to proselytize or try to convert others
-- If a person embraces Islam, they cannot "unembrace it" without penalty.
-- Death is the sentence for any sort of sexual impropriety.
-- No use of mind-altering substances (drink, smoke, etc) ever
-- Infidels should be destroyed. (This point is one I don't get very well at all -- considering some say they honor everyone else's beliefs and
want peace). From time to time "leaders" issue "jihads" and "hadiths" against others.
-- Anyone can become an Imam.
-- Martyrs are rewarded with 72 virgins for dying while killing infidels.
-- Sharia law is not bound by secular law (much like the Vatican has their own courts, banks, etc - so does Islam)
-- Certain foods are forbidden
-- They have jinns, djinns, and a belief in satan/hell and devils. (Saw a couple of videos about "flying jinns" going into trees....
-- They are not supposed to marry outside their faith. (This I know, however is not followed by all of them)
-- They despise Jews and blame them (and the West for helping them) for their troubles, and want to destroy Israel.
-- They want to conquer the world and make the entire world Muslim and obedient to Sharia law.
-- Anything that is presented that disagrees with the Quran is rejected.
-- They want peace and peaceful coexistence.
-- There are warring sects, (Shia and Sunni - one believes in blood-line inheritance of power only, the other in merit-based power)..
My sources are: what people have told me, what I have witnessed personally, books and texts (such as The Looming Tower
, The Kite
), members of ATS who have kindly and graciously answered my questions, propaganda junk mail before the election about how brutal "Sharia
law" is and that Islam wants to implement Sharia here in the USA.
Please, knock my socks off with disabusing me of my obvious ignorance of the actual practices and beliefs of the faith...