Although Islam is the world’s second-largest religion, many in the West have huge misconceptions about what it actually professes. Many Muslims face confusion and ignorance from people around them, and an alarming number report outright discrimination and violence.
This ignorance is particularly damaging when it’s endorsed by the president of one of the most powerful nations on Earth. Donald Trump has frequently spoken out against Islam and has several times attempted to pass bills baring people from Muslim majority nations from entering the United States. Again and again, Trump has used national tragedies like the recent Manhattan terrorist attack to condemn an entire religion on the basis of one or two people’s actions.
While such Islamophobic tactics have proven to be politically successful, they are rooted in complete ignorance. Few who proselytize against Islam have even a basic understanding of the religion or its followers. And in the age of the internet, where millions of people are just a click away, it’s easier than ever to correct these misconceptions, if you’re willing to learn!
“When we eat pork… nothing happens it’s just really bad. Seriously I get asked this on the daily or whenever I and a few friends order a pizza. It’s like, “Hey you can’t eat like, pork right?” “Right” “Well what happens if you do?” “Lightning strikes me and I turn into Charlize Theron.” “Heck, really?” “No dude, I just feel guilty for a few hours.” It’s haram or whatever, yeah, and I don’t eat pork—but I’m not gonna explode unless you put dynamite in the darn thing.” (Redrapper)
While foods like pork are haram (meaning that they’re forbidden by Islamic teaching) the prohibition isn’t fatal or extreme. Stories like the one President Trump referenced recently, where deceased general John J. Pershing allegedly dipped bullets in pigs’ blood to send his Muslim opponents to hell, are completely ridiculous.