images/index_r1_c1.gif
 

Islam: Europe's Second Largest Religion
The History of Islam in Europe
European Leaders and Islam
Those Who Turn To Islam
Reports of Islam in The Media

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.

(Above) 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 Islam, 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
Islam in France
Preparations Have Begun To Make Islam An Official Religion in Sweden

Today, 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.


The Growth Of Islam in Belgium

(Left) Belgium's largest mosque opens, (Right) In Belgium the number of Muslims has reached 450,000.

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," http://isim.leidenuniv.nl/newsletter/1/forum/01AE35.html 2. Zaman, Metin Keskin, January 28, 2001


An Italian Ambassador Becomes A Muslim
The Rise of Islam is the Cover Story in der Spiegel

The 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."


Television Documentaries Present Islam
The German President Visits A Mosque

(Above) 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 history.

(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 2001, no.2


(Above) 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


Islam in Denmark
Islam in the Educational System in Europe

Islam 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.

It is He who sent His Messenger with the Guidance and the True Religion to exalt it over every otherreligion and God suffices as a witness.
(Qur'an, 48:28)

61. "Europe's Muslims Worry Bishops," National Catholic Reporter, October 22, 1999.
62. Ibid.
63. "Muslims in Europe," The Economist, October 18, 2001.
64. Time, December 24, 2001.
65. AktŘel, 1999.
66. Blasco Ibanez, A la Sombra de la Catedral, Madrid t.y., 22-23.
67. http://charlestupperjr.blogspot.com/2002_03_01_charlestupperjr_archive.html.
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.
73. Ibid.
74. "My Dad Buys Me Books about Islam," The Telegraph, December 31, 2001.
75. http://www.islam.dk/.
76. Milliyet, October 12, 2001.
77. Time, October 1 2001.

This site is based on the works of Harun Yahya
www.harunyahya.com

e-mail: info@harunyahya.com

 
images/index_r1_c1.gif