Reports of Islam in The Media
Interestingly, the number of objective reports in the
Western media introducing Islam has increased. Especially after
the 9/11 attacks, people were curious about Islam and were seeking
accurate information. In response, the media produced various
reports and programs. The BBC broadcast documentary films about
Islam on many television channels, invited special guests to appear
on talk-shows, and produced a program series introducing Islam.
Furthermore, many television stations added special sections about
Islam on their Internet pages to provide information about Islam's
basic requirements, history, sayings of the Prophet, and Qur'anic
verses. Web sites that provide more comprehensive information
also are provided.
Islam is the number one religion in Europe, (Middle) Islam
on Arte TV, (Below) Curiosity about Islam in Europe after
9/ 11.More Europeans are converting to Islam than ever before,
and many documentaries about Islam have been shown on European
television since 9/11.
|The awakening of Islam in Europe, Islam,
a sun that has shone for 1,000 years.This article in Newsweek
examines Islam in Europe and reports that Islam is constantly
gaining influence in such countries as Italy, England, and
France. For example, in East London, where chapels go empty,
mosques open to take their place. In France, many buildings
have been converted into mosques and are filled to overflowing
by devout Muslims. Minarets rise in Madrid, and a grand mosque
is being built in Italy.
In addition, many magazines and newspapers contain articles
about Islam to answer people's questions. For example, the October
1, 2001, edition of Time magazine carried an article by
Karen Armstrong entitled "True, Peaceful Face of Islam," which provides
the following information:
The very word
, which means "surrender," is related to the Arabic
salam, or peace. When the Prophet Muhammad brought the inspired
scripture known as the Koran to the Arabs in the early 7th century
A.D., a major part of his mission was devoted precisely to bringing
an end to the kind of mass slaughter we witnessed in New York
City and Washington.... In the Koran, therefore, the only permissible
war is one of self-defense. Muslims may not begin hostilities
(2:190). Warfare is always evil, but sometimes you have to fight
in order to avoid ... persecution.... The Koran quotes the Torah,
the Jewish scriptures, which permits people to retaliate eye for
eye, tooth for tooth, but like the Gospels, the Koran suggests
that it is meritorious to forgo revenge in a spirit of charity
(5:45).... Islam is not addicted to war ... The primary meaning
of the word jihad is not "holy war" but "struggle".... In a statement
in which the Arabic is extremely emphatic, the Koran insists,
"There must be no coercion in matters of faith!" (2:256). Constantly
Muslims are enjoined to respect Jews and Christians, the "People
of the Book," who worship the same God (29:46). In words quoted
by Muhammad in one of his last public sermons, God tells all human
beings, "O people! We have formed you into nations and tribes
so that you may know one another" (49: 13)-not to conquer, convert,
subjugate, revile, or slaughter, but to reach out toward others
with intelligence and understanding.77
Have Begun To Make Islam An Official Religion in Sweden
approximately 5% of the French population is Muslim. Islam,
now France's second largest religion, is attracting the
attention of the French media.
|(Above) Islam is an official religion
in Swedenen, (Middle) The ambassador of Sweden to Istanbul:
Islam is a European religion, (Below) Time magazine reported
on the opening of Sweden's largest mosque in Stockholm. Research
shows that there are more than 300,000 Muslims in Sweden,
whose total population is about 10 million, and the government
and people are very accepting of them. Last year, the government
made a special allocation of funds to translate the Qur'an
into Swedish for them and to build a big mosque where they
can worship comfortably. Along with these projects, another
fund has been established to support schools that provide
Islamic education. In addition, there is now an initiative
to make Islam an officially recognized religion.
Growth Of Islam in Belgium
(Left) Belgium's largest mosque
opens, (Right) In Belgium the number of Muslims has reached
At the beginning
of the 1990s, Belgium had about 285,000 Muslims; by 1998,
there were 350,000 Muslims. This is 2.5% of the Belgian
population. There are now 240 places of Islamic worship
in Belgium, and Islam continues to grow rapidly.1 Today,
Belgium has more Muslims than Protestants and Jews, and
is the second largest religious community after Catholicism.
The Belgian government has always been well-disposed toward
Belgian Muslims and, as early as 1974, passed a law to
protect their freedom of belief and worship. According
to this law, Muslims are as free as Catholics, Protestants,
and Jews to practice and teach their religion. One of
its most important provisions deals with teaching Islam
in state schools. At present, Belgium has about 700 Muslim
teachers in state schools. They receive salaries and expenses
from the government. The Belgian government also covers
the cost of building worship centers and hiring clergy.
This support allows Islam to spread, and is indicated
by the opening of the Genk Yunus Emre Mosque on January
28, 2002. Mayor Jef Gabriels, who attended the opening,
considered this day a holiday, and the vicar Jan Boonen
expressed his thoughts as follows: "There's a house, people
live in it; there's a house, a hospital is being built;
there's a house, a bank is being built. But this house
is a different house. This is God's house, and we come
here only to bow down to him."21. Prof. Herman De Ley,
"Muslims in Belgium: Enemies from within or fellow Citizens,"
2. Zaman, Metin Keskin, January 28, 2001
Italian Ambassador Becomes A Muslim
Rise of Islam is the Cover Story in der Spiegel
Western press and news agencies were attracted by Torquato
Cardilli's, Italian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, conversion
to Islam. Above we see a Reuters' report entitled "Rome's
Envoy to Saudi Arabia Converts to Islam." Actually, Torquoato
Cardilli was the second ambassador who converted to Islam.
Before him, Ambassador Mario Scialoja also had converted
to Islam. Having converted when he was Rome's permanent
ambassador to the United Nations, Scialoja was later appointed
ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Cardilli had spent many years
in Muslim countries, and his conversion shows once again
the rapid growth of Islam in Italy. About 1 million Muslims
live in Italy and in the last two or three years about 5,000
people have converted.11. Reuters,
November 26, 2001
|(Above) The Prophet Muhammad
on the cover of Der Spiegel; Islam's rapid rise throughout
the world was the cover story of the well-known German magazine,
Der Spiegel. This issue contained a 20-page report entitled
"Who was the Prophet Mohammed?" and pointed out that true
Islam had nothing to do with terrorism. It also presented
the views of various historians, philosophers, sociologists,
and politicians. The report states that no religion is spreading
as fast as Islam, and quotes the words of prominent English
philosopher Ernest Gellner: "Islam is the blueprint of a social
order. It holds that a set of rules exists, eternal, divinely
ordained, and independent of the will of men, which defines
the proper ordering of society."
Documentaries Present Islam
German President Visits A Mosque
Islam on English television, (Below) Much interest in the
documentary about Prophet Muhammad (saas), Islam's rapid
rise has been the topic of many television programs. In
addition to concentrating on political and social issues,
they also provide comprehensive documentaries on Islamic
history and moral teachings. One example is the English
project called the "The BBC Two's Islam Season," which was
prepared as a 2-week series. Costing 1 million pounds to
produce, it was to present the truth about Islam. A similar
program was broadcast on the French-German channel: Arte.
This documentary series, which took 3 years to produce,
presents a detailed account of the Prophet's life and Islamic
|(Left) The German president in a mosque,
(Right) German president Rau: West Islam dialogue is necessary;German
president Johannes Rau, an avid supporter of interfaith dialogue,
expressed himself on this matter at a meeting of the World
Council of Churches in Potsdam on January 29-30, 2001. The
Council declared the next 10 years to be the "Decade to Overcome
Violence." Rau stated that this was one of Europe's most important
social initiatives. He stated further that freedom and justice
were equally important, and that Social Darwinism had to be
definitely rejected.1 Moreover, Rau showed the importance
he placed on establishing dialogue by his visit to the Fatih
Mosque in Marl. During this visit, arranged for the Ramadan
Eid, he stated that Muslim holidays were as important as Christian
ones, and that the struggle against terror was not related
to Islam. 1. Notes on Church-State Affairs, vol, 43, Autumn
Islam, a part of life in Germany, (Middle) Europe seeks
for true Islam, (Below) German Muslims. The number of German
converts is also high. Germany, which has a dense Muslim
population, has undertaken various initiatives to provide
a better understanding and correct presentation of Islam.
Among these efforts are the lessons in Islam, which will
be given in German schools.
|Above we see Europe's largest
mosque: the mosque in Rome
in the Educational System in Europe
is the fastest growing religion in Denmark. This growth
is fostered by the warm relations with the Danish government.
One of the most striking instances of this support was an
historical first: Danish state television broadcast a Friday
sermon delivered in the mosque of the Turkish Cultural Center.
|(Below) Islamic lesson in German; In Sweden
guides to Islam will be distribnuted free to students, Above:
A New York Times' article entitled "Austrian School Drama:
Crucifix Meets Ramadan," reports on the Muslims' education
rights in Austrian schools. In Europe's many Islamic schools,
the state curriculum includes courses introducing Islam. Certainly,
this initiative will be the most effective way to combat radicalism
and the foundation stone in any dialogue established between
the two cultures.
He who sent His Messenger with the Guidance and the True
Religion to exalt it over every otherreligion and God suffices
as a witness.
"Europe's Muslims Worry Bishops," National Catholic Reporter, October
63. "Muslims in Europe," The Economist, October
64. Time, December 24, 2001.
65. AktŘel, 1999.
66. Blasco Ibanez, A la Sombra de la Catedral,
Madrid t.y., 22-23.
68. "Islam's Contribution to Europe's Renaissance,"
The Wisdom Fund, http://www.twf.org/Library/Renaissance.html.
69. The New York Times, November 20, 2001.
70. "Prince Charls' Latest Speech on Islam," http://www.sunnah.org/nl/v0104/prince.htm.
71. "Prince Joins Ramadan Ceremony," BBC News,
November 23, 2001.
72. "Prince Charles Wins the Hearts of Muslim Youth,"
The Muslim News, February 22, 2002.
74. "My Dad Buys Me Books about Islam," The Telegraph,
December 31, 2001.
76. Milliyet, October 12, 2001.
77. Time, October 1 2001.