Addressing Misconceptions about Islam
By Fareena Alam, taken from lectures by Uztaz Zulkifli Hj. Ismail of PERGAS, Singapore

Analysing the Question: When addressing misconceptions, it is important to analyse the questions themselves because the answer can often be found in the question itself. In the Holy Quran, (2:56) it is said, Truth stands out clear from error." hence, we should patiently show where the absurdity lies and leave the rest to God. Islam is the truth and hence, can be rationalised and logically explained. Consequently there is no need to get upset or emotional. Just use your common sense and if you do not have the answer offhand, offer to find out and get back to your friend.

Attitude & Approach: It is important to go to the root of the misconception. Analyse how the misconception occured in the first place. When you know where the root flaw is, correct it and the truth will become clear.

2 steps to analysing misconcetions:

1. Check the "data" or "information" presented in terms of accuracy and logic of the argument. Beware of the following:
 

Checking the argument, reasoning or logic
 
  • false syllogism

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    a = b, b  = c and therefore, a = c
     
     

  • fallacy of the converse

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    3 + 5 = 8 and consquently the assumption that is there is an 8, there must be a 3 and a 5 (why not 4 and 4?) e.g. All Malays are Muslims just because majority of the Muslims around you are Malays.
     
     

  • fallacy of the congruent

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    b is congruent to B e.g. "You have Muhammad (pbuh) and we have Christ hence, Muhammad died for your sins." or that "Since you refrain from eating pork and Hindus refrain from eating beef because they worship the cow, you are worse because you worship the pig!"
     
     

  • fantastic leap (without considering the basis)

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    e.g. "In congregational prayer at the mosque, women occupy the space behind men and hence, in Islam women are considered inferior."


     
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