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join the discussion: Can Islam adapt to the modern world? Are new interpretations of Islam challenging the true nature of the faith?

Dear FRONTLINE,

I heard about the program a lot but didn't get a chance to see it. please let me know if it will be broad cast again.

thanks

Ruhina Tawa
Edison, NJ

FRONTLINE's editors respond:

Local PBS stations have the option to rebroadcast this program. We suggest you contact your local PBS station about a possible re-airing.

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thanks to your wonderful producers and writers and scholars and to you pbs for breaking down the wall of ignorance and prejudice that abounds in our country here USA.

It is refreshing to c a high caliber program that is so truthful and unbiased and educating to everyone.

moe sowid
phoenix, arizona

Dear FRONTLINE,

To the person who wanted to Know, what is Kaba?

The Kabba is considered the first house of worship of the one God, originaly built by Adam and replicating the Heavenly House of God, which contains the divine throne that is circumambulated by the angels.

This heavenly ritual is reenacted during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca by pilgrims who circumambulate the Kabba seven times, symbolizing their entry before the divine presence. Adam's Kaba is believed to have been destroyed by the neglet of belivers and the flood. According the Quran 2:127 Abraham and his son Ismail rebult the holy house. Abraham established a God's montotothestic religion named "Hanif". But, over the time Abraham's religion was forgotten and paganism and polytheism took control of Mecca.

However, by the time of Muhammad the Kabba was under control of Quraysh of Mecca who used it as a shrine for the tribal gods and idols of Arabia. Abraham's tradition of Pilgramage was distored into a pagan pilgramage, where pilgrims used to pray to 360 idlos of Mecca.

The first things Muhammad did when he returned from Medina and Kaba was to cleanse the Kaba of 360 idols and restore the "religion of Abraham", the worship of one true God.

Many of your questions are answered in the following book,

"What everyone needs to know about ISLAM" by John L. Esposito.

lawrence, Kansas

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for this incredibly fair, balanced and informative show. It truly serves the public by improving understanding about Islam by those who are ignorant, facilitates dialogue among Americans, and dispels harmful stereotypes.

I am a nonmuslim seriously considering conversion to Islam and have had very positive experiences with warm, righteous Muslims who display incredible regard for humanity.

Unfortunately, we dont see these exemplary Muslims featured in the media nearly as often as militants that produce dramatic headlines.

Based on what Ive read on this discussion section, its sad to see so many seemingly fascist, narrow-minded viewers branding all Muslims to be militant, backward and oppressive based on the action of a select group of hardliners. For 400 years American whites have practiced conscious racism and brutality against blacks; this included throwing them into slavery, shooting, beating, fire-hosing , sicking police dogs on them and bombing black churches. Yet I know better than to assume that this countrys documented history of grotesque brutality against and enslavement of blacks, coupled with its support for repressive regimes, brands the entire white race evil or all Americans inherently evil and backwards.

I am also dismayed by others in this discussion board who quote select Quranic verses without including preceding and subsequent verses that place it in context as well as considering the historical context. This is very misleading.

Keep up the good work Frontline! You have my support and I will be telling everyone I know to watch your show!!!

Norman Blanc
Boston, Massachusetts

Dear FRONTLINE,

In Daytona Beach there is an Islamic Center which operates freely and openly. I invited the Imam of the Center to speak to our liberal Church directly after Sep 11 2001. My intent was to hear the story about Islam from the heart and lips of this religious leader. I believe that anyone sincerely attempting to understand Islam would be well advised to seek out your local Imam or to visit the mosque.

I offered to visit the mosque and was told emphatically that my wife would have to wear a head scarf and could not accompany me to the first floor level of the mosque but, rather, would have to go upstairs with all the rest of the women attendees.

The Imam, in his description of Islam as he understand it and as he teaches it, repeatedly said, :The Koran is the literall word of Allah. It matters not what you say, nor what I say, only the Koran reveals the literal truth of Allah. I am a traditional follower of Western Liberalism which embodies the time honored princioles of seeking truth, personal freedom,women's rights and freedoms, freedom of Gay, Lesbian persons, Democracy, pluralism, acceptance and so on.

The Imam's version of Islam did not contain any of the traditional values that are so important in American Culture. In fact I became quite uncomfortable as he continued to explain Islam. I firmly believe that we all need to do something like this to gain a fuller understanding of Islam and not limit ourselves to a relatively sanitized version a s presented on PBS.

It is fair to say that I have become friends with two of the kindest gentelest men who are Moslems from Iran and are 20 year American citizens. The combination of their Islamic tradition coupled with their adoption of American value have provided them with a very different oulook than the Intellectual leader.

Charley Barcelo
Port Orange Daytona Beach, FL

Dear FRONTLINE,

As an African American Muslim being born and raised in this country, I don't think it is a question of Islam adapting to the modern world, it is a question of the modern world adapting to Islam.

The Qu'ran was sent to us as a governing tool for Muslim life, and I believe that the problems arise in 1. This modern, predominately Christian world not understanding/not trying to understand the Religion; leading people to rely on the media as a reference source, 2. This modern world not accepting some of the Muslim practices and traditions. And by this I mean, disregarding the Religion not for its beliefs, but for its practices that don't agree with this modern world, and 3. Some extremists who interpret the Qu'ran and its practices to fit their individual goals and objectives.

All of these areas need to be addressed before Islam will ever be accepted in this modern world, not to mention the stereotyping.

mishawaka, in

Dear FRONTLINE,

I appreciate the program frontline exposing how Islam is being practiced and taught today, which is almost completely the opposite of what was shown the night prior. I think that it is good to show how over the years Islam has been corrupted by other people agendas, hangups and cultural traditions.

As a Muslim I am tired of justifying and covering up all of the mess that has come into this way of life. God reveals one thing, and mankind allways taint it sooner or later. Thank you pbs for exposing the Islamnism being practiced and taught today opposed to the true Islam taught by Prophet, Muhammed.

Inregards to one of the postings here on the site: Their is one God. We call God, Allah because that is an arabic word that can not hold any plural. Arab speaking Christians calls God, Issa Jesus ben son of Allah God

See no differance, we as Muslims just don't beleive that the unseen God ever came in the form of a Man, which you call Jesus. But we do beleive that their was a man name Jesus but we beleive him to be a prophet not the son of God nor do we beleive that God that created the universe would have a need for anyone or anything including a son.

So yes we do beleive in the same God the one God, the unseen God.

Jocelyn Rasool
S.E, Washington, DC

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for airing this program! It is so refreshing to see Islam portrayed truthfully in American media. The truth is right there, talk to any Muslim, especially in America, and you'll hear of the goodness, justice, and peace that Islam brings.

I don't expect to have everyone believe what I believe, but it is disheartening and hurtful to read some of the reactions posted here. They do not reflect the spirit of the America that I was taught to love and respect. Those who are still spurting hate will bring America down faster than any terrorist could ever dream of doing it.

Walid G
Los Angeles, CA

Dear FRONTLINE,

My message is to those fighting against the values and the heritage that the United States was founded on. Groups like "NOW", DNC, ACLU and others.

If you don't like seeing a Nativity scene around Christmas, keep suppressing Christian values. Of course, looking through your burgas when the Islamic goverment has forced you to cover your entire body is no choice.

Three woman were killed last night because of this "religion of peace". What a lie. They have an agenda and you're missing it. You will not see the damage you are doing till it's too late. Please use your heads and look down the road 20 years.

Cadillac, MI

Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you Frontline for your courage to tell the truth about Islam. There are/were always some people from the very first day of Islam, who could not accept the truth.

As I read some of the commentators particulary form US Midwest regions view in this forum, they not only have to hate Muslims, they but also have to hate immigrants even christians from Mexico!

They have another part of character: to blindly believe "how great America is." Do they know their own history? Is not it that the "great america" was built through the destruction and anhiliation of Native Americans and pilferage of their lands and the land of Mexicans? Is not the foundation of "great american" railroad, highways, dams, and farms were built through slave labors? Today, to fix American economy which was destroyed by American corporate corruption, "great americans" are preparing to go to war to steal other people oil!

Americans, who are getting angry to see that some true stories of Islam are running in PBS, most probably will also get angry to God, if He Himself lands in American mid-west to tell the truth: American interference in Muslim countries, American naked support to Israel, and American media manipulation against Muslims are main causes of Muslims anager at America. Note, Fox news channel is watched by almost all Muslim countires. Fox news channel in one of the main cause of growing Muslim anger to the USA.

There are other great countries in the world, for example Norway, Sweden, and Japan. Living standars of Norway and Sweden are much better than that of USA. These two countries are also based on the doctrine of christinaity, later secualrism. Interestingly, Arabs/Muslims do not hate these countries. Ask why?

Islam is not an enemy of America. Rather, Islam can help open-minded Americans to free themselves from materialistic life. Muslims in America can work together with American true Christians/Jews in common ground of reviving ethical and moral standing of Americans. Infact, some communities in America, Muslims and open minded Christians are working together to live in peace and in harmony.

People, who are upset with PBS for airing program on Muslims, should at least start remembering the Christian tradition "Seek truth, truth will set you free."

Lawrence, Kansas

Dear FRONTLINE,

Very impressive! Yet, I don't hear of Muslims serving mankind. In countries where they are in control they persecute those of other faiths - jail - !

Women are not equal with men. Often oppressed. I see no Muslim charitable hositals, schools, food banks, care for the homeless, etc. They say they want to serve mankind but frankly, I don't see it. Just the opposite.

William Fry
Bellaire, TX

Dear FRONTLINE,

First I want to say I enjoyed your show enourmously, as an American and a Muslim I appreciated the fact that you showed so many faces of Islam and Muslims. As with any other religion we are extremely diverse. Just like Judiasm and Christianity, you have extremists.

When this country was begun all those years ago, it was for religious freedom, I am constantly amazed at the intolerance of American for Islam. What we don't understand we want to destroy and that is wrong. We need to learn to be tolerant and willing to learn and try to understand.

Moving on.... I want to applaud Frontline, PBS and all those involved with the production of MUSLIMS. It was very well done and I truly appreciated the many faces of Islam that you showed. I pray that you continue to produce and show these kinds of shows to the world.

Atiat Lamptey
Landover, Maryland

Dear FRONTLINE,

This program was wonderful. My husband was raised a Muslim in Iran but I really didn't know much about it. I have learned so much, and I agree that most Americans do not understand that Allah and God are the same. Also that Islam teaches about Jesus and Moses and Abraham.

This program must be replayed as much as possible so that ignorance is dissolved. We have to look at our government and other governments to understand what we are "fighting" about. Not Islam....ignorance.

Boston, Ma

Dear FRONTLINE,

Once again, we in the West are provoked by the media into emphathizing with another culture and religion, whose values are often at odds with our own.

I am awaiting the day when an similar show will be shown in Saudi Arabia, asking the audience to understand the Christian traditions and values of the West.

Tom Sullivan
Scarsdale, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

there's so much ignorance out there and what is really sad is that even after such an excellent show you find many of the comments to still contain the same stereotypes and biases that exist all over.

What the show really did is show another side to Muslims, the "moderate" side for a change. However, I was shocked to read some of the viewer comments which were still full of misconceptions and wrong infromation. People, please don't be stubborn in accepting ideas that may be different than what you've "known" so far through the ordinary news channels and newspapers. If you really want to know, go out, seek information and decide for yourself before you express your opinion.

NY, NY

Dear FRONTLINE,

One of the problems with muslims is their intolerance with everybody else. This is clear in countries in which they are in the majority and control the government.

Here in the U.S. we have Freedom of religion, freedom of speech & freedom of assembly. In Muslim countries they have none of these things. A Christian who openly professes their faith is subject to arrest in such places. Muslims here in the U.S. can take advantage of our freedoms. However some while taking advantage of our freedoms use them against us, the events of September 2001 being an extreme example.

This becomes a question of fairness. If Muslim countries open up to the same kind of freedoms we have then we might all feel more tolerant.

Robert Batt Batt
Bloomfield, New Jersey

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