Hello Mawk,"If anyone harms (others), God will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, God will show hostility to him." Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1625.
"Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians...and (all) who believe in God and the last day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." The Qur'an, 2:62
I work with a Muslim woman and we have grown to be close friends. Her parents came here from the middle-east twenty five or so years ago. She had a typical Australian education – infant, primary and then high school in a fairly working class area. She went to University and got two degrees.
Then the americans invaded Iraq.
She and her female relatives saw this as a western attack on Muslims in general and Islam in particular, and decided to make a stand – they all voluntarily began wearing the Hijab.
The area we work in is the most multi-cultural city in the world – Logan City –over 185 ethnicities in 2008 and still rising.http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/about-logan
There are many forms of Islam here. You cannot paint them all with one brush - any more than you can say a Baptist from the deep south of the USA is like an Anglican at Harvard, or an Catholic Italian farmer.
During tea-breaks at work, she and I would discuss life and the world in general. Often it came to religion. I would say something about what the Buddha taught, and she would look delighted and say, ‘’But that is what the Prophet, peace be upon him, also taught’’ and she would explain …. And so it would go on. Me learning from her, she learning from me.
She had an arranged marriage (she accepted the third or fourth offer, and the final choice was hers), and I attended the wedding …. All female, except when the nervous groom-to-be arrived with his small party of males. Most women were covered – some with entire faces hidden, some behind screens – until the formalities were over and the males left for their own reception. Then the women took off their outer covers and Deva Heaven arose – some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Most of them University grads as well.
We tend to forget that that the majority of Muslims are intelligent, peace-loving and compassionate. There are approximately 1.57 Billion Muslims in the world, and hard-line terrorists would number only a few score thousand if that. They also have the lifestyle of whatever country they live in - just like christians and buddhists.