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Islamic Values in the Face of Dissension

 

Lighting a fire of discord in Holland, Geert Wilders received a reaction not only from Muslims all over the world, but from people everywhere. For the discord that was lit was not only aimed at annoying Muslims but, at the same time, it was aimed at sabotaging world peace which is based on people trying to understand and respect each other. Undoubtedly, since the beginning of the 21stcentury an enmity towards Islam and Muslims has been rearing its head in some circles. At almost every opportunity some circles express a provocative attitude and views that insult Islam and Islamic values. On the one hand, they are trying to incite Muslims by doing this and, on the other hand, throughout the world they are trying to plant enmity towards Islam and fear of it in the subconscious. Among these in particular fanatic religious circles and political actors arouse attention. It is not possible to explain their opposition to Islam and their aggressive behavior only by antagonistic attitudes towards Islam and Muslims nurtured by historical fears and concerns, because these circles use opposition to Islam for their own internal religious and political purposes. For example, it is known that in the socio-cultural field of the Western Christian world, secularism which is based on rejection of religion is a threat to traditional Christianity. On the other hand, as a global phenomenon, Islam is a point of interest and attraction for people throughout the world. In order to understand this, it is sufficient to look at the editions of Der Spiegel in 2007 that had Islam as a topic and the innumerable statements by the Pope to the effect that in the Western world secularism turns Christian values upside-down. In addition, it is also known that increasing hatred of foreigners in the West is seen as an opportunity by various politicians and in this respect they have developed rhetoric that inflames racist emotions in order to obtain political success for themselves. Muslims are usually targeted in these racist policies like in the example of Geert Wilders.

It is obvious that provocative actions against Islam and the Islamic holy book and thereby Islamic values are made to incite Muslims throughout the world and that, by means of events that will occur in regard to this, an effort is being made to prepare a foundation for opposition to Islam and fear of Islam worldwide. The way to destroy this plan and make discord ineffective is for Muslims to act with common sense, to support each other with love, to be aware of their superior values and to trust themselves. In fact, throughout history there has been no scarcity of such plans and intrigues. Throughout history rebels and those who did not know their limits in society always made plans against the prophets. These plans against the prophets and the messages they conveyed were on a broad spectrum that ranged from unfounded accusations to insults and threats. In fact, they did not stop there; campaigns were declared against followers of the prophets, and believers were forced to leave, exiled and even murdered sometimes.  The situation did not change during the time Islam's last prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived and afterwards. From the time of the Arab society in the Age of Ignorance to date enemies of Islam have pursued unfounded accusations, mud-slinging campaigns and intrigues against the message of Islam and Muslims. Frequently these campaigns have brought about violence aimed at Muslims. However, the devotion of Muslims to Allah's religion, superior moral values and self-trust have made these campaigns come to naught. Both with the superior values they possess and their historical experience of living together in peace with different peoples throughout history, they have produced unequaled examples for all of mankind.

The most basic thing Muslims have to do today in face of campaigns against Islam is to hold on tightly to Islam's fundamental principles. Allah and His Messenger come at the head of these values. It is possible to love Allah and His Messenger by following the Quran which was brought to us by Allah's apostle and by following the exalted example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In fact, it is stated in the Quran, "If you love Allah, obey me so that Allah will love you and forgive your sins" (Al-i Imran, 31). Muslims coming together throughout the world in love of Allah and His Prophet and, remaining loyal to Islamic values in the Quran and sunnah (practices of the Prophet), explaining Islam's non-debatable superiority to mankind will defeat all disruptive initiatives against Islam.

Hues of Belief Corner by Sinasi Gunduz, a professor of the history of religions, deals with the attitude of Prophet Muhammad towards other religions and his relationship with their members
 

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Şinasi Gündüz

Professor Şinasi Gündüz, the head of the Religious History department at the Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University, graduated from the Faculty of Theology, Ankara University in 1984. In 1991 he completed his doctorate at the Middle East Research Department, Manchester University. In 1995 he received his associate professorship from Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Theology, and he became a professor in 2003 at Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology. Still head of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Istanbul University, Faculty of Theology, Şinasi Gündüz is a member of the Executive Board of the Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University and is a member of the Senate of Istanbul University; Professor Gündüz has published a large number of international articles. He has written sections for international publications and presented articles in a number of refereed journals and at international academic conferences, making great contributions to the field of religious history. In 2004 Professor Gündüz was seen worthy of the Successful Researcher Award by the Istanbul University Rector's Office and in 2005 by the Istanbul University Academic Research Projects Institute.

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