What It Means When Islam Is Not Considered a Religion

Asma Uddin’s upcoming book ‘When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom’

An anti-Islamic sentiment has been pervasive in the United States for a long time now, and things have only gotten worst since September 11th, 2001. If one was to ask people about that day, they would certainly bring up the fact that the individuals who carried out the attack were Muslims.

In the minds of many, there is a marriage between faith and people that is something they cannot separate. The ideologies of individuals in terms of their political and social views are somehow intrinsically tied to their religion in the minds of many westerners. The question that has emerged for authors like Asma Uddin is what happens when Islam is no longer considered a religion because it is seen as being tied up in everything else?

The attacks on Islam’s status as a religion made Asma Uddin question what it means when people refuse to recognize the fact that it is a religion. There is an intrinsic connection between people that want to see the religion as something that is false and those that want to take away the rights of Muslims. In some cases, people have argued with the author for very creative interpretations of the First Amendment and other protections.

If one were to take a look at how immigrants and travelers from nations in which Islam is the dominant religion were treated in the U.S. not that long ago, it becomes clear that there is a stripping down of the view of the people who are Muslims. They are viewed as being of one nation and having one thing in common: otherness.

When you think of terrorists that happen to be Muslims in the same vein as every other, this is “denationalization” them and beginning a very dangerous process in the mind of Uddin. If “Islam is not a religion” it rejects the adherence of Islam to eliminate First Amendment protections for Muslims.

That is precisely what has started to happen in the minds of some and in practices like laws regarding the recent travel ban in the U.S. now, Uddin’s book When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom, is hitting shelves and delving deeply into the history and problems that come with the de-religionizing of Islam and the broad effects it is going to have. The book is due out July 9, 2019 and is going to be a very important read for scholars, Muslims, and perhaps politicians.

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