Islam students at LUC

Archive for July 23rd, 2010

I have recently came across the article in NY daily news about a Muslim organization’s project of building The Cordoba Institute near the former World Trade Center. And I was amazed how many people were opposed to that idea, but isn’t United States promoting freedom in everything? Especially religion? This was the reason Piligrims came here in the first place. I think this is a little too judgmental to say that Muslims can not be near “Ground Zero” area, like it would not be right to say that if Catholic monks molest kids this would be true for every Catholic. Is our society that blind and ignorant to understand that Muslim lives were also lost in this terrorist attack? That all around the world Muslims are also being prosecuted by terrorists? If we live in a free country and we have a right to our religion, why should someone be suppressed by not being able to even have their holy places here.

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As is the case with many of the previoous blog posts, I am not Muslim but have grown up in a Catholic family with a strict Catholic education since I was in first grade. My senior year of high school gave me my first look at Islam during my World Religions class where we also learned about Buddism, Hinduism and Jeudaism. Because we only spent about one month on Islam, it has been enlightening to go even deeper to expand my less then basic knowledge of the the religion. As a Roman Catholic, I find common ground with how important the act of mercy is in Islam. As we spoke in class about how Islam is a religion of mercy, I remembered all my days of going to confession in the Catholic church when I was younger. Finding things about Islam that I can personally relate to is what has been helping me to really understand the material and the readings.

I bravely can state that I am a religious person and have been since childhood. Having very strictly religious-Catholic grandparents made me into a person I am. Now when I am older and can make my own decisions, being able to get to know other religions, made me think which religion is true and who should I believe. I am truly glad I signed up for this class, I hope I could truly change my perspective I always had towards Muslims, and their practices.  All of our classes so far were completely engaging and interesting you almost don’t want to leave, I have learned so much at 5 classes we had so far, than I learned in 24 years of my life. I was shocking to see that our religions do not differ as much as people think and fundamentals are basically the same like with any other religion. Being able to understand other religions is a very important step for everyone towards world peace and unity.

This is, in a way, a response/agreement to a few of the previous posts, but regarding the numerous Muslim converts of the seventh century, I feel like most Western Christians don’t realize that so many of the new Muslims were previously Christians themselves. Having gone to private school my whole life, I often take the religious education for granted and forget that not all Christians know even the Bible’s bigger stories. They view Islam as such an exotic or strange religion without knowing or making the effort to know anything about it, and without realizing that they share the same tradition. The other thing I notice when I watch classmates’ brains short-circuit in class is that “Muslim” still simply means one who submits to God, and not one who believes a horribly different theology from the other two Abrahamic faiths. There is no reason to recoil when someone refers to Moses and Jesus as Muslim prophets; they called people to one God just as Muhammad did. I particularly like the story of the Christian king of Abyssinia who, after hearing the Muslims describe what they believe, drew a line in the ground and said that the difference between their religions was no greater than the line’s width.
Before this class I didn’t know that Muslims believe Jesus was born of a virgin, or that he is coming back for the Day of Judgment. Considering there are Christians who don’t even believe some of these things, and considering how fractured the early Christian faiths were before an elite few standardized the religion, I find the efforts to emphasize any differences between the three major monotheistic faiths pointless.