Ten Talking Points about Islam
1. Salaam means “peace” in Arabic and comes from the same word as Shalom in Hebrew.
2. The Arabic word, Islam, means, “to surrender to God,” and can also mean “the peace that comes from surrendering to God.” A Muslim is a person who surrenders to God.
3. Muslims have deep reverence for Jesus and believe he is a great prophet.
4. Muhammad referred to Jews, Christians and Muslims as “People of the Book,” and called for cooperation and peace among the three faiths (Q3:199).
5. The Qur’an was written in the 7th century and affirms rights for women that were rarely recognized elsewhere until the 19th century. The Qur’an says:
Women can own property and form contracts.
Women have a say in the selection of a husband.
Infanticide is against the Qur’an’s teachings.
The current oppression of women occurs due to cultural norms that have persisted in spite of, rather than because of, true Islamic teaching.
6. Muslims do not worship Muhammad. They believe he is the last in the line of great prophets that includes Jesus, Abraham, Noah Moses, Mary and others of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
7. The Arabic word “jihad” means struggle, i.e., the personal struggle to let go of one’s own will and surrender to God…a struggle for goodness within. Jihad can also be legitimately used to describe a war of self-defense, with standards somewhat equivalent to the Catholic Just War Theory/Tradition. Jihad is never appropriately used to describe terroristic violence. Therefore the Ku Klux Klan is about as much about Christianity as ISIS and the Taliban are to Islam.
8. Only 20% of Muslims worldwide are Arabs. In the United States:
18% of American Muslims are of European Descent
24% are African Immigrants or of African Descent
25 % are Asian
18% are Hispanic
1% is Native
7% are listed as mixed race or “other”
9. Mary is mentioned more often in the Qur’an (34 times) than in the Gospels (22 times). An entire chapter of the Qur’an is named for Mary.
10. There are no songs or hymns in Islam, i.e., there is no Muslim David Haas. Muslim prayer involves the lyrical recitation of the Qur’an.