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The thing about Islam 


by Dr Magsie Hamilton Little


Islam in the twenty-first century is at the very heart of world affairs, including its conflicts. More than any other world religion it has sparked heated debate, its name associated with some of the greatest terrorist acts of our age. Some argue it is an intolerant faith that condones violence. Others go further, maintaining that terrorist attacks in recent times have showed Islam to have an inherently evil core. At the same time Muslims across the world have been left feeling that they have been subjected to hostility and victimisation. They themselves insist that Islam is peaceful and compassionate. 

With such diverging opinions and heated debate, it is sometimes hard to know whom and what to believe and what is the truth of it? What does Islam actually have to say about society, human rights, the role of women, marriage, and homosexuality? How can a religion that purports to be peaceful and compassionate ever be made an excuse for the human atrocities such as those we have seen in recent times in the bombings in London and New York? What are the challenges for Islam in the modern age? And is the rift that exists between Muslim and non-Muslim something that can, in time, be made to heal? Or are just we too different?

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