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P UTTING Y OUR I DEAS ON THE

L INE
C OMMON M ISCONCEPTIONS

A RABS AND M USLIMS ARE THE SAME .

The word Arab is used to describe all people who speak


the Arabic language.

Muslims are followers of the religion of Islam.

This means, that some Arabs are not Muslims and some
Muslims are not Arabs.

In fact, of the nearly 1 billion Muslims in the world, only


about 15% of them are Arab.

Most Muslims live in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand,


Malaysia) and in South Asia (Pakistan and India).

I SLAM IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM


C HRISTIANITY AND J UDAISM .

All three of these religions are monotheistic.

All three worship the same god, the God of Abraham.

All three have holy books (Quran, Bible and Torah).

All three have particular buildings for worship (Mosque,


Synagogue and Church).

Of course there are some differences in beliefs and


practices, (Which we will discuss later), but fundamentally,
they are very similar.

T HE M IDDLE E AST IS ONE BIG


DESERT POPULATED BY B EDOUINS .

The geography and people of the Middle East are just as


diverse as other world regions.

Bedouins are desert dwelling people who primarily live in


the Middle Eastern countries, but not all people in the
Middle East are Bedouins.

There is a great diversity of people, including many


Christians, Jews and Muslims, many Arabic speakers, as
well as English speakers and other languages.

There are many places in the region that are far from
deserts, including coastal lands and fertile plains.

M IDDLE E ASTERN COUNTRIES ARE


ALL RICH FROM OIL .

Although some countries enjoy


great wealth and a great standard
of living, (Qatar, UAE and Kuwait),
there are many countries with little
wealth (Egypt, Iraq and Yemen).

M OST M USLIMS ARE VIOLENT


FANATICS .

The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people who


live their lives according to their interpretation of the
Quran.

The Quran forbids violence except to defend Islam

Very few use violence and terrorism to further their


goals.

T HE M IDDLE E AST IS THE


CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD .

This is true, because the region is


located between three continents;
Asia, Europe and Africa.

As a result, there is a rich mix of


culture, language, religion and
tradition that exists in the Middle East.

M USLIM WOMEN RECEIVE TERRIBLE


TREATMENT.

Many Muslim women actually see their religion as a


major reform because it granted them rights such as
choosing their own husbands, earning an education, and
family inheritances.

In some societies, however, the rights of women are


oppressed. The proper role of women in Muslim society
varies with the country and is the subject of much
debate.