The need for a new deal in Western societies: How to understand and embrace Muslims


It may be heretic or contradictory to read an article written by a 36 year old man from Athens Greece, born and raised as a Christian, writing or more particularly, trying to express his feelings via reading the Holy Quran and trying to explore the teachings of the Sufism tradition.

Raised in a society and a media-environment that is constructed with the pseudo-ideology of Islamophobia, and trying to overcome this notion and formulate an independent opinion regarding the Holy Quran and the Muslim community as a whole can been seen as an marathon with huge and difficult obstacles to overcome.

Western societies and in particular the mainstream media that dominates the public discourse in these societies, have cultivated a specific notion of who Muslims are, and of the Muslims that reside in these societies as war-mongering  and members of the society that they do not want to integrate into society and its norms.

However, if someone reads the Holy Quran and explores the teachings of Sufism, a part of Islamic tradition that I was not aware of till recently, one will formulate a completely different image of Islam and of Muslims. The Holy Quran and the teachings of Sufism are the tour de force of three pillars:

1) Peace
2) Respect
3) Love

The above mentioned concepts that are analyzed in detail in the Holy Quran and are protagonists in most of the teachings of Sufism are deliberately diminished from the public discourse in western societies. Τhe target is obvious: to stigmatise a religion, a way of life, and an increasing population of our societies for all the societal and financial problems that western societies are witnessing.

Of course, this is not something new or something that is raised nowadays. Western societies, with the assistance of the political and financial elites, were always open to stigmatizing religions, personalities, or political ideologies for the problems that their countries were facing. 

Now we are facing the era of Islamophobia, an era where the all the pathologies of western society are products of the Islamic religion. 

For the above mentioned reasons, the role of Muslim authorities around the world is of high importance as the leading pedagogical force for the education of societies in what the message of Holy Quran truly is, and what the Muslim religion really dictates as a theology and as a way of life. 

Islam and the Holy Quran can become a medium of understanding between the western and the eastern world, and a vehicle of peace and of understanding for the communities to understand and to cultivate a commonality of understanding, cooperation, and peace among the different national and religious communities that formulate what we know today as Western society.

Only if we include Muslims in the notion of a Western society can our societies can be described as inclusive, progressive, and “western”. Otherwise, our societies and the politicians that we have decide to represent us will formulate a hypocritical society that generates more problems than solutions. 

The deal of the 21st century for Western societies is simple, one, and only: to understand that the Message of Holy Quran is a message of peace and common understanding, and to isolate the voices of racism and Islamophobia by degrading the influence of the mainstream media that tries to formulate a neo-racist discourse for serving their own purposes and their one agenda. That agenda is one that stands on the opposition of European and western civilization. 

Let’s hope that the common future of our societies will be built under the influence of peace and understanding. We cannot commit the same mistakes that our ancestors committed in the past. 


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