Islamic Culture & Photo Blog – Muslim Blog

Islam and West, Two Poles Apart


There are mixed views of how Westerners tend to think of Islamic societies and how the Islamic societies perceive the Westerners as. In comparison to their own society, the Westerners think that the Islamic societies are backward-looking, oppressed by religion and inhumanely governed. This is because the Westerners practice enlightened secular democracies. Islam is not just a religion, nor is it some fundamentalist political movement.

Islam is a civilization, a way of life that is lived differently in every Islamic country. However, there is a common spirit amongst them all, which is much more humane than the Westerners realize. The Westerners often fail to realize how their own societies have been unable to live up to their liberal mythology. Westerners regard aspects of Islamic culture as medieval, without realizing that many of the aspects have prevailed in their own culture until fairly recently. Islamic societies might only be a few decades behind the Westerners in terms of technology.

With the progress in technology and society, much of the values have changed in the Western Society. With the developments in technology, much of the Islamic countries are also facing numerable changes. Until World War II, the West disapproved of pre-marital sex. Outside marriage, sex was against many of the laws. These laws are still prevalent in many of the books; nevertheless, it is rarely enforced. Sex before marriage is common today. According to the Islamic Shariah laws, indulging in sexual practices before marriage is a sin and is condemned.

Until the 1960’s, homosexual acts between males was a crime in Great Britain (lesbianism was not outlawed). Now, such acts between males and females have been legalized in most parts of the West. They argue that laws against the homosexuals are violation of gays and lesbians’ rights. The Islamic traditions do not support any kind of a relationship between gays and lesbians.

There is a stark contradiction between modernity and Islam. Most of the people of the West symbolize their customs and traditions as modern, whereas, those of the Islamic countries are seen as conservative and conventional. By definition, Islam and modernity are in conflict.

Modernity cannot compete with Shariah.

Many people argue that it is due to Western Imperialism that there is so much violence associated with the Islamic nations. Others are of a strong opinion that the resentment is because of the suffering of the Muslims at the hands of the Europeans during the colonialism. Their religion and the lands were distorted and the Muslims, who were once the rulers, were oppressed and treated as slaves.

Most of the Westerners associate increasing numbers of population with the crime. In recent years, the Muslim states have experienced an explosion in the population. In most cases this has resulted in unemployment which eventually leads to crime. This crime is because of the social disruption caused by the unemployed.

The Westerners largely blame the Muslim world and the various traditions and customs that they follow. Similarly, the Muslims blame the West for creating so many problems in their religion with the newly enlightened concept of modernity.

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