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Perhaps this isn’t on your radar, but last week began the yearly observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. If you aren’t familiar, Ramadan is a month-long time of fasting from sunrise to sunset to honor the prophet Mohammed and commemorate the time that he supposedly had his revelation from god to write the Quran. It is meant to be a time of purification of body, mind and spirit. Something I think a lot of us could learn from in the midst of our busy lives and schedules!
However, many of us grow skeptical of anything even remotely associated with the religion of Islam. For better or worse, technology has made the world a lot smaller. We see things happen around the globe and we have instant access to information. Sometimes we witness stuff on the news or Internet that we don’t want to see or hear about and we wonder where God is in all the chaos. Attach religion to this, and it can be a fragile situation. With technology and access to information, we become smarter, more aware, informed, and yet, many of these things we’re learning about are generalized to the point where our perception of these events can be one-sided and even distorted.
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Still, even 15 years after 9/11, I bet when I mention the word “Muslim” or anything that has to do with Islam, many of us might automatically think of Al-Qaeda or ISIS. This association is understandable because every single day we are plastered with information and reports of what these terrible organizations are doing in other countries, and we respond with horror, anger and even fear. This kind of fear can lead to stereotyping and even prejudice to the point where we start “branding” all Muslims based on what Islamic terrorists do.
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