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Sunday, January 17, 1999 Published at 15:02 GMT

Talking Point

Perceptions of Islam?

Talking Point joins the BBC World Service's Newstalk live - our weekly phone-in that gives you the chance to air your views - both online and on the radio.

Once more, the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism is featuring large on the world news agenda.

Newstalk - have your say
In Yemen, bearded militants accused of killing Western tourists, were paraded in front of the cameras. They used the opportunity to justify their actions in terms of a "holy war".

Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed: Defends military training courses
In the UK, a number of newspapers have focused on the activities of radical clerics, their links to the kidnappers and to the provision of military training for young volunteers.

In South Africa, tension has remained high after threats by radical Islamic groups protesting against airstrikes on Iraq.

And in the United States the radical Saudi millionaire, Osama bin Laden has become Public Enemy Number One.

Levels of distrust between the West and the Islamic world, it seems, are at a low ebb.

But is the West confusing politics with religion, and condemning millions because of the actions of a tiny minority?

Or is it understandable that acts of terror carried out by religious extremists cause panic in the West?

"Da'wah" is a directive of Islam, requiring Muslims to explain their faith to people they meet.

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to an end, should Muslims do more to engage and explain their point of view in the West? Should they be more ready to criticise groups which act in the name of their religion?

Or is the West simply refusing to listen, and guilty of racial or religious discrimination?

What do you think?

Does the West need to do more to understand Islam?

Your reaction in full

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Perceptions of Islam?