Moslem or Muslim
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Why do some people spell the word ‘Muslim’ as ‘Moslem’. Is it true that ‘Moslem’ is an offensive word, derived from Zulm? Many Muslim speakers take an offence to this word. Is this reaction justified?


This depends on the intention of the speaker. If this is a mere matter of pronouncing the Arabic word ‘Muslim’ in the typical English accent, then this cannot be objected to (which seems to be the case to me). If it is derived from Zulm, then Muzlim (the correct grammatical version of the word pronounced as Moslem) means a person who is oppressive, which of course is derogatory.

I think that Muslims are being over sensitive in this regard. The Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, USA has been publishing a journal ‘The Moslem World’ since the beginning of this century and none of the Muslims of yester years ever objected to the title. In my opinion, they thought that this was a difference of accent merely and had nothing to do with the word Zulm.

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