Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

April 2006
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Cover Story

International Organisation for Defending Prophet (Pbuh)
Manama


Muslim scholars wrapped up their two-day meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama recently, announcing the establishment of an international organisation and a fund for defending Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) against defamatory attacks by the West.


“The International Organi-sation for defending the Prophet will be created, to be the umbrella body of future conferences,” according to the conference’s communiqué. Some 300 Muslim scholars came together to explore a strategy to prevent a repeat of acts lampooning the Prophet. Six imams from Denmark, where the controversy originated, also took part in the conference. The nascent organisation will be grouping four main bureaus to promote its goals. An economic office will be established to enhance and follow up relevant activities like boycott, a legal one to take and pursue legal actions against whoever insults Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet, a third to coordinate Muslim efforts and promote dialogue with non-Muslims and a fourth to conduct studies and researches and organise seminars. The participants also decided to set up an international fund to finance activities on projecting the true image of Islam and the Prophet, in the West. “The international fund for defending the Prophet will finance projects and activities of the organisation,” read the statement. Saudi Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda, the conference’s secretary general, said the capital proposed for the fund will be 100 million euros.

Two New Polls Show Negative Image of Islam
Washington D.C


Two polls released recently indicate that almost half of the Americans have a negative perception of Islam and that one in four of those surveyed have “extreme” anti-Muslim views. An independent survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) shows that some one-fourth (23 to 27 per cent) of Americans consistently believe stereotypes such as: “Muslims value life less than other people,” and “The Muslim religion teaches violence and hatred.” Those with the most negative attitudes towards Islam tended to be older, less-educated and politically conservative. CAIR’s survey also showed that only six per cent of Americans have a positive first impression of Islam and Muslims.


But just two per cent said they were “very knowledgeable” about Islam. Some 60 per cent of respondents said they “are not very knowledgeable” or “not at all knowledgeable” about Islam. A similar poll released by the Washington Post and ABC News also found that one in four Americans “admitted to harbouring prejudice towards Muslims.” The Post-ABC poll also showed that the number of Americans who believe that Islam promotes violence has more than doubled since 2002.