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Islam to me is beauty. It is peace and spiritual healing. I am a born and raised Pakistani-American Muslim. I do not seperate religion from my life as if the two are independent. Islam defines my existence. Islam teaches me how to live and provides me with tenants upon which to base my character and personality.
I believe Muslims get too caught up in what is absolutely forbidden in Islam, the haram, and what is allowed, the halal. Just because something is not obligatory does not mean it should be ignored and just because someone is not doing something obligatory does not mean they should be chastised. Islamic faith is between the individual and God, not the individual, Islamic community, and God.
In Islamic communities an outsider looking in will see warmth and cold. There is a strong sense of brotherhood and sisterhood which unites people and gives Muslims strength. That is the warmth. There are always people who judge or feel the need to pass judgements which isolate Muslims who appear to be practicing poorly. That is the bitter cold: bitter because when the community becomes a disconnector, it goes against it's very most amiable quality.
After 9/11 many non-Muslims around the world started leaning about Islam for the first time. Education through the media and word of mouth suddenly spawned several non-Muslim self-proclaimed experts in Islam. It angers me when non-Muslims make passionate arguments about Shari'ah or the hijab when all their evidence is media-based. Nothing scholarly or truly educated thought motivating the conversations it angers me more that they so easily speak about something that is so important to me with such juvenile knowledge. That is why I appreciate programs like these.