Islam students at LUC

Overall, I really enjoyed the class. Although I am Muslim, coming in to this class was not only a refresher on things I already knew, but also taught me integral parts of the religion that I should know as a Muslim. I thought the lectures were very engaging and I loved every single one of the movies. They each opened my mind to Islam in the perspective of people from all around the world and also from different time periods as well. Even the papers, though they seemed tedious at the time, were really beneficial. I especially liked the first paper in interviewing a Muslim and the part of the final where we interviewed a non muslim. I surprisingly learned a lot from that exercise.

in response to @koalabear93, I also agree that Islam classes should be more available to the public and a subject encouraged to take. I think this more after interviewing my non muslim friend and realizing that even though she has been friends with me for a year now, she knew nothing about Islam. Especially with Islam in the news basically every day now, and the fact that most of what is being said about the religion is not true, it is a subject people need to be more familiar and educated on. Overall, I think this class did a good job in explaining Islam, but I think that the basics were skimmed over too quickly and the basic core pillars of Islam weren’t touched upon as much. although this course was perfect for me as a Muslim and background understanding of the subject, I feel like other students who didn’t have as much of a background didn’t get the basics in this class.

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This past week we watched more of Malcolm X. I thought it was powerful to see Malcolm X rise through the ranks of the Nation of Islam to the point where he is one of the biggest leaders and speakers of the religion. Seeing him orchestrate that mob in front of the hospital and being able to stand up to the police just showed how much of an influence he had of the people. I think him joining the Nation of Islam ended up being influential to many people even though it is a completely wrong take on Islam. He helped the Civil Rights movement in ways no one else could.

In response to greenbaypackers87, My family celebrates thanksgiving as well. Every year for Thanksgiving my family on my dad’s side gets together to have dinner, and yes there is Turkey involved. I don’t celebrate it based on an Islamic or unislamic stance, it’s just part of my american culture. I think it is sad that black Friday shopping has become a big part of Thanksgiving as well. I think it has taken over the holiday to the point where it is completely commercialized and consumer driven. I also think it is incredible that there are now shops open on Thursday, Thanksgiving day. I think it’s sad that many people have to work on Thanksgiving and can’t be home with their families because of the crazed drive to get good deals right away on Thursday night.

This was our last week of class, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this course. As someone raised Catholic, I began to question my faith during my final years of high school, and this questioning has continued through college. While I know my path to finding my faith is far from over, I loved increasing my knowledge of Islam, such a widespread faith, and seeing how religion impacts the lives of Muslims. I know I will continue with my interest in Islam, and I hope that my curiosity about other religions continues to grow and that it will help me to find my path of spirituality.

As far as the class itself, I think this is one of the best classes I have taken at Loyola. I think the topic matter is extremely important given what is happening around the world in terms of Islam, and it is important for college students to have a basis to understand the issues surrounding this religion so that they can make informed and intellectual decisions. I looked forward to this class every week, which is rare for me, and I have recommended this class to several friends, as it has been one of my favorites. Not only is the course material itself interesting, as well as the movies we watched entertaining, Mozaffar created a casual space for discussion that facilitated learning in such a fun and unique way, and I wish I had time to take more courses he offers!

We did not have class this week, and so I spent this time finishing Malcolm X (I was not sure how far we got into it in the last class, since I was absent), and found this movie to be extremely moving. As someone who considers herself well-rounded and who was exposed to African American culture throughout every level of education, I honestly did not even realize that Malcolm X was assassinated, and I’m extremely ashamed of that fact. I even had friends in school that were Muslim African Americans, yet I never really understood what that meant because I did not understand what it meant to be Muslim.

I agree with @landocalrissiano in that the portrayal of Malcolm X in the film was extremely life like, in that his flaws were portrayed as well as his idealized traits. I think that if Malcolm X had been portrayed as a martyr, the audience would not connect to his personal and spiritual growth, which I think are important for everyone to see. I think Malcolm X represents a way that we should all look at religion: while we can have our beliefs and stay committed to them, it is important to allow our faith to grow.

For this lesson, we discussed the idea of justice as an equilibrium, where you must put things in their proper place and fulfill responsibilities. I think it is important to always have justice as an ideal to work towards, because without justice there is no progress. It is especially important in modern times, where human rights are being violated, discrimination is still prevalent, gaps in wealth and income are increasing, and poverty and hunger affect huge populations of the world. The idea that we are citizens of a society, and that we owe something to this society, is not a new notion, but I think it is one that we must truly embrace in order to overcome the tragic disparities present in our lives today.

I agree with @pizzaluvr5, in that I did not receive a lot of education on Malcolm X growing up, despite going to a diverse school with a large African American population. I feel as though the emphasis on Malcolm X was in relation to MLK, but his own accomplishments were kept separated from our lessons, because discussing Islam was never brought up in my elementary school days. I wish I had known more about him when I was growing up, because I think his contributions to the civil rights movement were significant, and that the way he went about things provides a great example for all who grow up with prejudices. I also wonder how the disparity in representation of African Americans that contributed to the civil rights movement came to be, with the actions MLK far outweighing any other civil rights activist during the time, as far as lessons about civil rights go.

I enjoyed this class very much. I didn’t know much about Islam going into the class, but was excited for all the new information I was going to learn. I really enjoyed how this class was structured, with half the class being lecture and the other half being a movie. The lectures were structured in a way that made them interesting to listen to and even offered many opportunities for class participation to make the lectures unique to our class, while still learning all the required content. The movies were all very interesting and offered us different insights on Islam and how it is portrayed in various parts of the world. I looked forward to this class every week, and I am actually sad that it is over. I am so glad I took this class because now I have a greater understanding of Islam in a time where Muslims are being incorrectly portrayed by the media. I understand that what the media mostly says about Muslims is quite inaccurate and I can use my knowledge to now inform others so they better understand as well.

I agree with @koalabear93 in the idea that classes that teach Islam should be made more available to the public, especially during this time when so much is being said about Muslims that is inaccurate and the amount of people who don’t understand the inaccuracy that is present. I think these types of classes should be made available for all religions, but especially Islam, simply due to the prevalence in today’s society. The media can twist the truth and can be very convincing for people who are uneducated about the religion. If more people were exposed to a class like this, I truly think there would be less misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the Muslim population and the true intentions and beliefs of the religion of Islam.

Posted on: December 8, 2015

I came into class not knowing much about the study of Islam. There were several pieces of information that really surprised me. For example, I was really impressed by how the Hadith came to be compiled. It was such a long, intricate process that involved a lot of double-checking. Even more impressively, the pieces of information had to be compiled from memory. This feat seems extraordinary to me, as this day in age, memorization is barely used. It was a different time, but the dedication and commitment was impressive in order to achieve such a task.

In response to serendipity 923, I agree with your thoughts. I also really liked how the Professor gave us  opportunities to reflect on our lives and therefore open the door to change for the better. The lessons we learned in class were truly valuable, not only for the Muslim students. Not only did we learn about Islamic culture, but the ideologies that go into Islam. I would also like to thank the Professor for an amazing semester.