University Post
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Comment: You can be liberal, yet a conservative Muslim

You can be a practicing Muslim without being an extremist. So protests Nermin Ghith, an Egyptian student at the University of Copenhagens Master of Public Health programme

Browsing the University Post site I came across an article titled Islamic research distorts Muslim image.

Later, I decided to write a response to it, especially on the identification of Muslims into practicing and non-practicing.

I am an Egyptian female student studying at the University of Copenhagen. As a liberal Muslim, I don’t cover my head with a scarf, yet I still perform Islamic practices like fasting and praying.

I don’t like to cover or uncover any part of my body without a reason. Additionally, I believe that any religion or idea is true and good as long as it makes human individuals live and behave in a reasonable way. I consider myself liberal and strive to be a good person, and there are many other Muslims like me.

However, the problem which is facing many Muslims is that that they are considered extremists if they are still practicing.

This is wrong. I myself and many who practice Islam, may consider themselves liberal, but in a conservative way, that respects everyone and every thought no matter how it is different from Islamic practices. We want to communicate with all people in a constructive way.

If you think objectively about what criteria define ‘less tolerant’ and ‘extremist’ individuals, you could say that the extremists are those that adopt a strict ideology by pointing fingers at different cultures and defining what’s right and wrong practices from their point of view.

So, using this definition, could we define some of the social practices here in Europe as less extreme and more tolerant?

I don’t have a definite answer.

However, the idea that practicing a different belief, like Muslims do, means you are a bad person and an extremist, does not seem to me to be a tolerant idea that reflects a tolerant society.

Nermin Ghith, MPH program-

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