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The Western misunderstanding of Islam and Daoism

Daoism and Islam are two major religions of the eastern region. The foundation of ethical teachings of Islam is guided by their Holy book Quran and the life of the last prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The teachings of Daoism are also known as Taoism. The religious philosophies of Daoism and Islam have often been misunderstood by western society. This discussion essay intends to analyze the western misconstructions of Islam and Daoism in addition to the ethical principles of these two religions from which the western society can take assistance.

Daoism is a complex religious tradition. The religious tradition of Daoism consists of different communities and movements. However, there are many common misconceptions of Daoism. Western society often thinks that Daoism is divided into two parts; Philosophical Daoism and Religious Daoism. Western society often misunderstands Daoism as a religious philosophy. However, Daoism is a complete religion that functions upon “go with the flow (Chi-Tim, 2010)” ethos. According to Daoist ethics, life should be served to achieve inner peace and harmony. In this modern society, we are running behind monetary assets leaving behind our family and love. If we follow the “go with the flow” ethos and follow Daoist ethical principles to achieve inner peace, then we will be contented in our life.

Islam is one of the most popular and influential religions of the eastern region. The followers of Islam believe in the oneness of God. The Islamic traditions have supported the newly-wedded couple to live in a separate household. However, western society thinks that Islamic traditions support a joint family system and are oppressive towards women (role of woman as a wife, mother, and daughter). However, the ethical traditions of Islam give proper rights and respect to women. The ethics of Islam are based upon several ethical principles. These ethical principles include truth, equality, justice, piety, and righteousness. If we follow these ethical principles, then we can make our society a better place.


Chi-Tim, L. (2003). Daoism in China today, 1980–2002. The China Quarterly174, 413-427.

Hourani, G. F. (2007). Reason and tradition in Islamic ethics. Cambridge University Press.



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