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What is bias and what is not?

Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah..

You often ask people to remain unbiased? Can you explain with examples where you said that ” It should be free of any bias against them”. We publish name of our organization at the bottom of our pamphlets. Is it an example of bias?

Shujath Imran

Hyderabad, India

February 2012

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

Examples of bias include using any words that may hurt them. For instance, any sort of phrases which demonstrate supremacy of your point of view above the same of any other person. Just put yourself in their shoes and you will know the example. Suppose a Hindu preacher gives you a pamphlet about their religion. What type of comments about Islam would you dislike? Based on this judgment, you can think about bias in your writings.

 A Da’ee (preacher) to Non-Muslims (especially the one who wrote these pamphlets) should have an in depth understanding of their religion. Insha Allah, in the Islamic Studies Program, we are planning to introduce courses on other religions to give an intermediate level of knowledge about them, in order to prepare our Da’ees to achieve this objective.

Writing the name of your organization will have different impact on different persons. Those who have a negative opinion of your organization, may not read the pamphlet while an indifferent person may not care about it. Anyway, a non-Muslim may be less biased against a Muslim organization as compared to a Muslim. For example, you will not care whether the name of organization A or B is mentioned on bottom of a pamphlet written by a non-Muslim. But you will be very careful, if it is published by a Muslim organization due to their sectarian associations. So think about them in the same way by putting yourself in their shoes.

Wassalam

Muhammad Mubashir Nazir

1st Verse – Al-Fatihah – Guide to Truth

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