By Dr. Zakir Naik
MISCONCEPTIONS DUE TO MEDIA
The common misconceptions about Islam arise in the minds of a majority of non-Muslims, because they are constantly being a majority of non-Muslims, because they are constantly being bombarded with misinformation about Islam. International media is mainly controlled by the western world, whether it is international satellite channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines or books. Recently the internet has become a powerful medium of information. Though it is not controlled by anybody, one finds a large amount of virulent propaganda about Islam on the internet. Of course, Muslims too are utilizing this tool to portray the right image of Islam and Muslims, but they are far behind as compared to the propaganda against Islam. I hope the efforts by the Muslims will increase and continue to be pursued.
MISCONCEPTIONS CHANGE WITH TIME
The most common questions about Islam are different in different periods and eras. This set of twenty most common questions is based on present times. Decades earlier, the set of questions was different and decades later too, the set of questions may change depending upon how Islam is projected by the media.
MISCONCEPTIONS ARE THE SAME THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
I have interacted with people in different parts of the world and have found these twenty most common questions about Islam to be the same everywhere. There may be a couple of additional questions depending upon the locale, the surrounding or culture. For instance in America, the additional common question is - "Why does Islam prohibit taking and giving of interest?"
I have included among these twenty most common questions, certain questions more common among the Indian non-Muslims. For instance, "why do Muslims have non-vegetarian food?" The reason for including such questions is that people of Indian origin are spread throughout the world and constitute about 20% , 15th of the world population. Thus, their questions become common questions asked by non-Muslims throughout the world.
MISCONCEPTIONS OF NON-MUSLIMS WHO HAVE STUDIED ISLAM
There are many non-Muslims who have studied Islam. Most of them have only read books on Islam written by biased critics of Islam. These non-Muslims have an additional set of twenty common misconceptions about Islam. For instance, they claim to have found contradictions in the Quran, they contend that the Quran is unscientific, etc. There is another set of additional replies clearing these twenty misconceptions among non-Muslims who have studied Islam from distorted sources. I have also given the replies to twenty additional less common questions among the non-Muslims in my public talks and book on "Answers to Common Questions about Islam by Non-Muslims who have some knowledge about Islam".