Lately, social media, internet companies, and even countries are forbidding any and all criticism of Islam. It is imperative that people understand what Islam is all about because we are not being allowed to talk about it!

Professor Moshe Sharon

Professor Sharon is an Israeli historian of Islam who is one of Israel’s greatest Middle East scholars. Prof. Sharon is currently Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he also serves as Chair in Bahá’í Studies. (The Bahai are a persecuted sect in the Islamic world. Yet they live peacefully in Israel, with their world center in the Israeli city of Haifa)

What is Islam?

According to Prof. Sharon Islam is a culture that is highly rich, highly interesting and highly rewarding. He explains that it is highly rewarding because for the simple person it is a simple religion, with much rewards. As long as one is a good Muslim, then he/she goes straight to paradise upon dying. And paradise is described in the most colorful of ways in Islam. (In Israel, we are unfortunately all familiar with the famous reward Muslims say they receive for murdering Jews, 72 virgins in paradise. A pretty easy way to receive what sounds like an enticing reward in the afterlife.)

Prof. Sharon explains that Islam is not an ordinary religion. Islam is a culture, which encompasses everything and based on a legal system. It deals with the life of the individual, it deals with a legal system and it deals with the running of a state. It is a world religion for all. Unlike Judaism, which is only for Jewish people and connected with one small country. Islam is a religion that wants to establish world order. For Islam, the whole world is one state. And all the people of the world should be part of this state, as Muslims!

Islam Above All Others

In Sura 61 the Koran says that G-d sent Mohammad with the “true” religion, with the “right” message, in order that it overcomes all the other religions. This means that according to Islam there is only one truth. According to Islam, Jews and Christians once had their own truth, but since they weren’t good custodians, Allah had to send another prophet to bring the last word of G-d, and the only word of G-d to humanity. This is what the Koran represents to Muslims. Nothing can be superior to the Koran. Because of this Muslims believe Islam stands on top of everything else. In Arabic there is a phrase “Islam is superior and nothing can be superior to it”. It is not only the final word of G-d but also the truest of G-d’s revelations. Muslims have a mission in this world. To bring the word of Allah to all the people of the world.

Now What?

Now that we understand the basic principles of Islam, can we now talk about why Muslims are doing the acts of violence they are doing around the world in the name of Islam and their “one” prophet?

This is a conversation that our elected leaders and media are afraid to have. The question is why and who does that serve?