How to Talk to a Muslim
In our multiconfessional world, we have to communicate with different people with different beliefs. Usually, people donít have any problems with that in secular environment, but sometimes it appears to be quite challenging to understand each other and get along with the representatives of certain religions, including Muslims. Check our tips for talking to Muslims to avoid any awkward situations.
Understand the main rules of Islam
Most Muslims are the followers of Islamic religion, and itís associated with certain traditions and behavior. If you were invited to a Muslim holiday, read some information about the rules of the celebration.
Many Muslim traditions differ from those typical for other religions, but you should understand them and be respectful even if you find them weird. For example, they do prayers several times a day regardless of their location, donít eat certain types of food, etc.
Learn what they eat
You probably donít talk about religion too often in normal life, but there are some things that you do with your Muslim friends every day, such as going for a lunch. In this case you need to know that there is a list of forbidden products, such as pork, any meat that is rare and contains blood, alcohol and any other intoxicants, and some animals that they consider to be ďuncleanĒ or ďdead fleshĒ (animals died because of diseases, old age, fire, electric shock, etc). Besides, some Muslims restrain from pure vanilla and soy sauce because they contain a little bit of alcohol. Animal should be killed by a faithful person while mentioning the name of the God.
Treat them as equals
They ARE equals, so donít act like their religion means a lot to you and makes any difference. If you donít know much about Muslim lifestyle, donít be afraid to ask questions. If you donít know whether or not you can do or say certain things, just ask them to explain that to you.
- Donít treat every Arab as Muslim. Muslim is a follower of Islam, but not every person that looks like a typical Muslim is actually a Muslim. For example, Armenians are mostly orthodox Christians. Besides, you can meet a lot of Arabians who are Catholics, Judaists, or even atheists. Long story short, donít judge the book by its cover if you donít want to look like a fool.
- Donít be stereotypical. The fact that youíve heard of a few aggressive Muslim terrorists or religious fanatics doesnít mean that they are all like that.
- Donít try to change them. Many people make this mistake. You probably think that a woman doesnít have to wear hijab or be obedient to her husband, but trying to prove a Muslim (or any other person) wrong is not a good idea anyway. Arguing about such a sensitive matter as religion with anyone is very difficult and probably isnít worth ruining your relationships.
- Avoid some common gestures when you talk to a Muslim. They usually donít like cheek kissing, high fives, and some other things of that nature.
There are so many great people in this world, and it would be really stupid to miss the opportunity to communicate with some of them just because you donít understand their religion. Hopefully, our tips will help you communicate with Muslims effectively and make a lot of new friends.
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