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Asking someone the question, “Are Muslims evil?” could be considered offensive, but it’s perfectly fine to want to learn more about the beliefs of 1.9 billion or more people around the world.

With so many adherents following this religion, it’s clear that the vast majority of Muslim people are as peaceful as any other group.

As with all religions, there are some extremist elements that capture the attention over stories of brotherhood, community support, and goodwill.

Exploring what Muslims believe, how they practice their faith, and why extremism can develop in any organized religion will give you a better understanding of the complexities of Islam.

What Are the Basics of the Islamic Faith?

Considered the second largest religion in the world as of 2020, nearly a quarter of the world’s population is Muslim. The name of the religion is Islam, which translates into “Submission to God” in Arabic.

The sacred writings in the Quran guide the religion, and they consider Muhammad the final and ultimate prophet. Much like Christianity is divided into denominations like Catholicism and Protestants, Islam is divided into the Sunni and Shia groups. The Sunni sect is further divided into groups that include some Sikhs.

When asking, “Are Muslims evil?” keep in mind that not everyone following this religion agrees on the same prohibitions or practices.

The Quran – Considered The Literal Word Of Allah

As the literal name of Islam suggests, the religion is primarily focused on following God’s commands and precepts for life in the mortal world.

The Quran — considered the literal word of Allah — also includes information on the afterlife and how to handle certain social events or disagreements. There is a wide range of prohibited behaviors, known as haram, and a number of encouraged or required actions, like donating 2.5% of your income to support the poor and needy.

Mecca Prayers

Rather than practices like meditation, there is a focus on multiple prayers to Mecca per day. Other major religious practices include fasting during the celebration of Ramadan from sun up to sun down, praying to Mecca multiple times a day and taking a pilgrimage there if possible, and publicly declaring a statement of faith known as the shahadah.

Obviously, none of these practices involve or encourage violence, and in fact, the alms known as Zakat outnumber other global humanitarian donations 15 times over. By sheer numbers alone, Muslims are a force for good around the world.

Similar Religious Practices

Sometimes people focus on certain religious practices like women wearing a head covering or prohibitions on certain behaviors like drinking alcohol when discussing Islam. However, these kinds of practices aren’t unique to this faith, although they obviously have their own distinct meaning.

Veiling Or Covering The Heads

Many Christian and Jewish denominations practice veiling or covering their heads, including nuns of almost all practices. It’s also seen among Sikh men in a different form through the wearing of turbans. Connecting how practices that might look unfamiliar are more common than you think can make them easier to understand.


Pilgrimages play a role in religions around the world, but the annual journey to visit Mecca is the largest in the world during most years. Muslim mosques play the same kind of community center and support system role as the Christian church or Jewish synagogue for their neighborhoods.

Muslims Are Supporting The Poor

Offering financial support for the poor, emotional and spiritual help for the lost, and physical space for everyone to gather, mosques around the world have played essential roles as sanctuaries for thousands of years. They’re also home to some of the most impressive non-figurative art in the world in the form of intricate tile work and mosaics.

Muslim scholars have also long contributed to the world’s understanding of mathematics, medicine, physics, and more.

Persecution and Successes

One thing to consider when asking, “Are Muslims evil?” is the long history of persecution against people of their faith.

Since the time of the Ottoman empire, laws have limited the marriage of non-Muslims to people of the faith, controlled where they can own property, or outlawed their faith practices like wearing head coverings.

Even today, countries like France have restricted their traditional practices in the name of protecting the rights of women, in turn actually reducing a woman’s right to choose to wear a hijab or not. Many groups around the world claim to want to help others through the persecution or oppression of Muslims, but everyone deserves the right to practice their faith in peace and without even well-meaning interference.

Assuming that a particular faith alone can lead someone to become violent or evil is a mistake that is repeated all too often still today.

So Are Muslims Evil?

It’s clear that the answer to the question “Are Muslims evil?” is a resounding no.

It’s a harmful stereotype that’s perpetuated throughout many pieces of media today, but it’s based on falsehoods and exaggerations.

Much like antisemitism, misunderstandings about the Muslim faith have led to real harm. It’s essential to learn the facts about any major religion before judging it based on claims made by people intending to hurt others.