Muslims must educate the West about Islam
Princess Ameera Al Taweel
Dubai - Princess Ameera Al Taweel urged every Muslim to spread a positive message about Islam
It is every Muslim's responsibility to spread the right message about Islam, urged Princess Ameera Al Taweel on the second day of the 15th Arab Media Forum.
Speaking in a session titled "Inspiration for Good: Humanitarian messages," the active humanitarian and philanthropist referred to the recent negative connotation associated with the phrase 'Allahu Akbar' (Allah is great) that extremists tend to scream before their acts of violence.
"Like anyone else, I became numb when hearing about terror attacks. Explosions became merely numbers and statistics, until I got a wake up call," the vice chairperson of Al-Waleed bin Talal Foundation said.
She cited a story at a US airport amidst the recent Russian airplane attack when she overheard a mother telling her son to secretly pray without citing the phrase 'Allahu Akbar' loudly.
"Her sentence hurt me a lot. Did we reach a stage where we cannot speak out our religion publicly in the West?" commented Al Taweel.
She then referred to a May 2015-2016 study that was conducted on 1,000 U.S. residents that revealed that 83% were neutral about Islam, whereas only 12% had negative views about the religion. The words "Muslim" and "Islam" were searched more than 79 million times a year, with 93% of the time on Twitter.
"This indicates that the West want to know about Islam," she noted. "But the problem is Islam's true message is expressed academic articles that don't reach the average viewers who rely mostly on infographics, tweets, pictures and videos to get information."
She stressed that if every Muslim used social media networks to post a positive message about Islam, the equation can be changed.
"It is in our hands to make the change. While we don't deny the efforts of research centers and museums that educate people, we are underestimating the power of individualistic efforts."
"We should concentrate on positive subjects and ignore the conversations that take place between extremists from both sides," she noted. "You don't have to be a religious figure or a professor to speak a simple message about Islam."