Even though in a negative context, Islam has become the most vastly discussed topic all around the world. Of course, there is a big difference in opinions from non-Muslims and Muslims. Some views are based on “Islam” as a religion, others solely on how Muslims have been behaving in the modern world and then there are those that have concocted an opinion by mixing some fundamental beliefs in Islam and what media has been presenting to the world about Muslims. The truth is hiding somewhere in the cluster but people who are too busy to give time to their children can’t think of exploring the truth about another religion from their own.
The perception about Islam was not even a topic that many people were aware of before 9/11, but things changed and moved in the opposite direction since the incident. It can be easily said from this fact alone that this new perception about Islam emerging in people’s minds after 9/11 was not “really” about Islam but how they thought of thinking about Islam due to the nature of the incident. Even though there are multiple theories that prove 9/11 as an inside job but what people believe in modern world is mostly what media intends to make them believe.
After 9/11 there were other incidents such as the bombings in London that created some more negative perceptions in the minds of people about Islam. Al-Qaeda and Taliban were presented as the representatives of Muslim world and Islam. This gave people some more raw materials to base their thoughts on about Islam and Muslims. Afghanistan was the first Muslim country attacked by America to save its people from the tyrannies of Taliban and then it was Iraq’s turn to take the beating in the name of finding and cleaning the country of weapons of mass destruction that were never-to-be-found.
Pakistan stood side by side with US in its programs against terrorism and an infamous region of Pakistan, known as Waziristan, was droned to purge it from militants and militant groups. The reaction was strong from the militants, Taliban, Al-Qaeda and from the Pakistan people who thought the drones were killing innocent people and were only a way for America to keep its presence in Pakistan. This fact too proved against Muslims and the Western World thought that Muslims were defending the terrorist groups and militants who meant only harm to other nations and countries.
Usama Bin Laden was found in Pakistan and killed by America and Pakistan faced the bashing of hiding him. Then there were incidents where some people celebrated the “burn the Quran” day, some artist drew the infamous sketches of Muhammad (PBUH), the most sacred entity in the world for Muslims and a juvenile effort was made to ridicule Muslims by making a movie on Islamic history in the most distorted form. Reactions from Muslims all over the world, violent and peaceful, were recorded by media but only the violent ones were focused.
All these violent reactions from Muslims nations, countries and militant groups have always been highlighted in the media, especially the news channels and they have finally managed to create a very negative connotation of the meaning of the word “Islam” in the Western world. However, there are very few who push aside the debris on surface of the water and go deep inside to discover the real world of Islam. There are very few who understand that the violent militant groups are not even 1% of the total Islamic world that exists on the planet today.
Most of the westerners believe Islam as an extremist and morally unhealthy way of life based on what they have seen less than 1% of the Muslims doing in the world while there are very few who know the real face of Islam by looking at how more than 99% of the Muslim population is living in the world – quietly and harmoniously with their non-Muslim friends.