Islam students at LUC

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Blog 14

Posted on: April 27, 2012

Last Thursday was our last class of the semester. We finished talking about the five pillars of Islam, and I thought it was pretty cool how everything is by a time period–day, month, year, lifetime. Before class ended, people shared a few Jinn stories. It was interesting to see the divide in people who believe these stories and people who don’t. I believe that since we can’t prove them nonexistent, it is possible that these things are true. That being said, I also believe in the power of the human mind. Anything that seems real to you is real as far as you’re concerned.

In response to ilovegoodreads, that article about the 12 religions in 12 months is really cool. I think that it is a true way to see life from many different perspectives in a short amount of time. It must have been a massive time commitment to learn about so many religions to be able to practice them and experience them in the fullest way you can with only a month. I feel that something like this would show a person how similar many religions really are, and how crazy it is that some religions hate each other. I bet it was a really great experience.

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Blog 13

Posted on: April 18, 2012

Last week in class we talked about the different levels of spirituality and the pillars of Islam. The levels of spirituality were hard to understand partially because there is no way to be sure where a person is on the spectrum. It is something that society can’t know, however people who have the best relationships with God and see God in everything are supposed to comfort others who are merely in their presence. We also talked more in depth about Muslim prayer, which I had never learned about before. We talked about how sometimes habits can become meaningless to a person if focus is lost.

 

In response to foxtrot 2012, I appreciate your understanding of learning new topics. If I hadn’t taken this class, I really don’t think I would know anything about Islam. That being said, college is probably the best opportunity to take on new things. I could have easily taken a class on Catholicism to satisfy my core requirement, but it probably wouldn’t have been very interesting after about twelve years of Catholic schools. Islam as a religion is wrongly accused of being a violent religion by many people, and I am happy I chose to learn about it to find out otherwise. No one should form an opinion before they have the facts.

Blog 12

Posted on: April 5, 2012

We do not have class this week because of the Easter holiday break. After reading the Ingrid Mattson book and doing the third quiz, I though it was interesting how similar this seemed to when we wrote about the roles of Muhammad. Muhammad had many roles for his people just as the Qur’an has many different meanings to different people. It also reminded me of a class discussion we had at the beginning of the year when we talked about the roles of religion in peoples lives. All three had many things in common — guidance, answers, rules to live by, etc.

In response to alphabum359: I do not believe that Muslims on campus have a bad reputation or are seen in a negative light. I have never heard anything bad involving really any religious groups at all specifically. However, I do agree with what you are saying about following the teachings of God more closely. I think that all people, Muslim or not, can improve themselves by working on their spiritual or religious life. As far as stereotypes go, it is unfortunate that entire groups can be seen a certain way for one person’s actions, but thats just the way it is. All you can do is try to live in a way that you are proud of, which I think is what you’re getting at. Live respectfully and others will respect you.

Blog 11

Posted on: April 5, 2012

Last week in class we finished up our group projects and performed our skits. It was interesting to see the skits and how many different ways you can make the Joseph story relatable. My group had a hard time breaking the big block into smaller paragraphs and really understanding, but we eventually worked through it. It was a good thing we had the extra time. The story has many similarities to the Christian version of the story that I am familiar with, but the language used in the Qur’an is much harder for me to understand for some reason.The style is just very different than the style of the Bible.

In response to helloo123, I was not expecting your summary of the Afiya Siddiqui story to end like that. Many of the articles we have blogged about this semester have involved the false accusations of people based on religion, race, etc. I was thinking this story would be something similar. The sad part is, there are some really scary people out there, and by the sounds of it, she was arrested just in time. It makes you wonder how many people are out there planning horrible acts of terrorism as we speak. When someone is falsely accused, governments are seen as discriminating against people, but I guess you really can’t be too careful.

 

Blog 10

Posted on: March 26, 2012

I forgot which two topics we decided on for the blogs now, so I just picked a couple things to talk about. In class on Thursday, we finished the movie The Interrupters. I thought the movie was fantastic. It really hit close to home because we could all recognize that this is happening less than ten miles from here. I was surprised to hear some of the reactions in the class, but not necessarily in a bad way. Many people suggested that the Violence Interrupters have taken on too large of a task, and that their work wouldn’t solve violence as a whole. Ideally, violence could be ended completely, but this is unrealistic in any situation. The purpose of their work is not to fix the entire world, but to save one life at a time. Someone in class made a good point, explaining it as more of a ‘pay it forward’ system, where the person you saved could save someone else. I agree with this completely, because every problem has to be tackled one step at a time.

In recent news, a man was killed in France in a shootout with the police, after he admitted to killing seven people. The police immediately suspected he had acted under the influence of his brother who was an Islamic radical, even though the killer claimed to be acting alone. His mother and wife were both arrested as well, but not charged. The French Presidential election (round one) is less than a month away, so  many people are watching closely to see how public officials are dealing with the seven killings and other terrorist activity (even though the authorities did not believe that the killer was involved with any major terrorist group). I do not know much about the situation, but it seems like there is always something going on with Islam and France in the news.

Blog 9

Posted on: March 19, 2012

This week in class, we pretended to do a group project for ten minutes and then watched “The Interrupters.” It was a really great documentary that told the story of the Violence Interrupters in Chicago. The message is very powerful, mostly because the Interrupters are not worried about illegal activities, only saving lives.

In the last Chapter of the Hadith readings, it says that the stage for modern Muslim thought came from two places: Western colonialism and indigenous Islamic movements of reform and revival. It goes on to explain the Quran only movement, where some people saw the hadiths as an embarrassment to Islam and insisted that all Islamic dogma should come from the Quran alone.

I read an article about the Saba program in Germany, designed for women who are not originally from Germany but seek an education. The program is not limited to Muslim women, but says that most enrolled are Muslim. One woman talks about how the program improved her life, especially after years in a very restrictive arranged marriage.

In response to blurzzz, I was also happy with the ending of Moozlum. I agree with your feelings toward the depictions of the “white” kids attacking Muslims. While I know that September 11th changed the way many people feel toward Muslims (an unfair judgment on an entire religion), I never saw such violence toward Muslims where I lived. Maybe I was just lucky, or was surrounded by very understanding and compassionate people, but I never saw the extreme violence that the movie depicted.

Blog 8

Posted on: March 19, 2012

We had no class on March 8th, so a Spring Break update instead. During normal class time, I was probably watching TV with my dog or eating Dairy Queen with my family. My mom and I cooked a bunch of really good food, and got caught up on our favorite shows. Spring Break 2012 in one word–rowdy.

 

I am currently finishing up the Hadith readings. In Chapter 8, it discusses the criticisms and debates about the stories of prophets and their authenticity. It talks about how the Muslim hadith tradition and Western academic studies os Islam have different ways of deciding how authentic these prophetic traditions really are.

 

In a New York Times article, two events are compared: the recent burnings of the Quran, and the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan. It talks about how the the mass murder is talked about much less than the burning of the Qurans. Hafez Abdul Qayoom is quoted saying that religion is of more concern than human casualties to Muslims and Afghans.

 

In response to bgilor, I always look for something to respond to after I write the beginning of my post. Now, I see that we had extremely similar spring breaks. I’m sure your dog misses you very much and had fun watching Borat and eating ribs together. Countdown to SB 2013…