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Contrary to the image of Islam promoted by western mass media, the core beliefs of Islam endorse a society of peace, toleration, and equality; the code of laws centrally promotes these universally valued notions, and their full acceptance can doubtlessly be beneficial in the reconciliation of cross-cultural conflicts…
Therefore, the requisite of belief for Muslims is a relatively simple one; if you recognize that the ancient prophets had some conception of the true nature of God, then you are capable of leading a holy and virtuous path.
Faith demands adherence to the code of laws, and a recognition of the nature of mankind and his place within the world. The Qur'an makes it clear that no restrictions should be placed upon who can be saved spiritually based upon sex, culture, race, class, or the actions of others. However, these stipulations upon entry into heaven do not formally empower women in their social relationships. Although a person of any sex or ethnicity possesses the capacity to recognize Allah as the one true God and Muhammad as his prophet in virtually all Muslim societies, many of these societies rely upon tribal law and gender traditions to determine particular power structures.
The consequence of this is that in a number of Muslim societies women are explicitly identified as being inferior to men and, accordingly, are forced to occupy purely subservient positions. ...
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