A Stereotype about Muslims

At work, a colleague and I were talking about one of the janitors. I really appreciate the work he does and I like to chat with him. When I greet him, he greets me back. I mentioned this to my colleague, but she said:

He badmouthed Islam, once.

When I heard this, I instantly felt sad. I remembered the good short chats we had, the money rewards I gave to him, and remembered me sharing food and water with him, but I told myself:

I hope what good I do to him will change his thoughts about Islam.

I wanted to convince myself that this janitor was misunderstood when he reacted to questions about Islam asked by another colleague. I kept asking my colleague about it just to make sure.

To be honest, I could not believe her.

I always remind myself that we cannot impose our ideas on other people, and that we cannot persuade them to accept our thoughts.

I always believed that people are recognized by their behaviors. I still believe that. That is why I keep reminding myself and others to be a good Muslim from the inside and the outside.

But, my colleague said one thing that was about to crash my enthusiasm:

I am sure this person hold these bad ideas about Islam because of what he sees and hears Muslims doing and saying around him.

I agree with her.

But, just because a group of people not behaving as they are supposed to is not enough evidence for a person of another group to hold wrong impressions about them.

They are doing this and that.

They are bad.

Islam is bad.

This stereotype is very dangerous to the image of Islam. We have to remind bad Muslims of getting back to the correct path. We have to remind our sisters and brothers to reflect Islam’s light on their behavior.

Starting this Wednesday, work on it. Ramadan is an opportunity. Let us use it wisely for this purpose.


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