Is Islam a religion of Arabs Only?



Literary theorist and cultural critic Edward Said coined the term Orientalism, which describes the false perception of Western attitudes towards the East and labels them as the 'other'.

In social science, this term is used to describe how a dominating group views another as being subordinate or not fitting into their own society.

When it comes to Arabs and Muslims, There are similarities and differences. But each term requires considerable understanding and goes beyond cultural stereotyping. Let's discuss some misconceptions about Arabs, Muslims.

Believing that Islam is only a religion for Arabs is a myth that was spread by the enemies of Islam early in its history. This mistaken assumption is possibly based on the fact of the first generation of Muslims were Arabs, the Quran is in Arabic and Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. Also Arabic is the language of the Islamic scripture, the Qur'an, but by no means do all Muslims speak Arabic. However, both the teachings of Islam and the history of its spread show that the early Muslims exert their efforts to spread their message of Truth to all nations, races and peoples.

It is important to realize that from the very beginning of the mission of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his followers came from a wide spectrum of individuals; there was Bilaal - the African slave; Suhayb - the Byzantine Roman; Ibn Saylam - the Jewish Rabbi; and Salmaan - the Persian.

Also, many countries that some people consider to be "Arab" are not "Arab" at all, such as Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan; the people who live in these countries speak languages other than Arabic as their native tongues and are of different ethnic heritage than the Arabs and they have not the same traditional dress. They each have their own respective languages, rich history and culture.

In Fact, Arabs are actually a minority in the Islamic world and they make up 20 percent of the estimated 1.5 billion Muslims. According to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Fact Book, Indonesia (which is not an Arab country) includes a population of 196 million Muslims, India and China trail behind with 133 million each.30% of Muslims live in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18% in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan make up 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. There are Muslim minorities in almost every area, including Latin America, Australia and Russia. There are about 6 million Muslims in the United States.

An important note is that An Arab person can be a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist or of any other religion or ideology. The Truth of Islam is meant for all people regardless of their race, nationality or linguistic background. Taking a look at the Muslim World, from Nigeria to Bosnia and from Malaysia to Afghanistan is enough to prove that Islam is a Universal message for all of mankind.

By: Nouran Radwan.




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