This refers to the article, “Seeking Allah in the Midlands” (May 24). What is it about Islam that has won millions of followers in the past and remains so appealing in the modern age? The answer is: Islam is simple, rational and practical; it blends both matter and spirit; it is a way of life and is universal — international in its outlook and approach — and not based on colour, race, clan or territory.

According to George Bernard Shaw: “Islam is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age.”

N. Jan Muhammed,

Chennai

The article on the growing conversion to Islam by British women has exposed the attempts of the vested interests to tarnish the image of the religion by misinterpreting its teachings on women’s rights. That a religion blamed by ultra-secular intellectuals as preaching values similar to those of the Middle Ages has fascinated progressive women is an eye-opener to the western cultural arrogance. The account of the intolerance some women faced after their conversion reveals the double standards of the advocates of individual freedom.

Shafeeq Ahamed,

Mahe

Islam is no doubt a much maligned religion. The reason: historical distortion triggered by interests of powerful groups which see in Islam a challenge to their hegemony. Islam was born in a deprived society. It advocates a new platform for socio-cultural equality. It doesn’t suppress women. In fact, it liberates them.

T. Shahab,

New Delhi

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