Islam students at LUC

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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.

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 week we continued the movie on Malcolm X. Although I read his autobiography already, watching the movie helped visualize it. I have always been interested in the transformations Malcolm goes through throughout his life. The movie portrays him as a white pleasing black man who acts tough in front of his friends. He even goes after the white women over his black girlfriend because he strives subconsciously to be one of them. Then he realizes this flaw when he goes to prison and learns about the Nation of Islam where he does a 180 transformation. After that, although we didn’t get to that part of the movie yet, he goes to Mecca and finally turns to the true Islam and ditches the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammed. It is inspiring to see how much he struggles with each part of his life and how eventually he found his way to a way that he fully accepts and realizes is the truth about Islam.

In response to asaphamzi, it was interesting to learn about the different ways Islam responds to loaning and interests. The word arabic rabi meaning interest, and how Islam looks down on that. I knew that Islam looked down on interest payments, however, I didn’t realize that even one dollar interest could make such a difference, but it does. It is a form of exploitation, even if both parties agree to it. I thought that was interesting to learn. Even if it seems as if no party will be hurt in the transaction, there is still wrong in this deal because down the long term, someone is going to be exploited, even if the deal is mutually agreed upon. This is still true even though in society today loaning with interest is not considered to be that bad.

This week in class we watched the rest of the Camp x-ray movie. Overall, I liked the movie. I thought it was interesting to see both sides of story, the prisoner and the guards. In the end, the movie wants the audience to sympathize with the prisoners, rightfully so, even when this is not a popular view to hold. This issue is really important especially today because it addresses the whole race and religious stereotyping issue. Guantanamo bay has been controversial for a while, however it has yet to be closed. Many of the detainees that are being held in Guantanamo bay are known to be innocent and held unjustly, however they are still there. This movie did a good job of bringing these issues to light when this point of view is rarely shown.

In response to @iwishihadpizza, I also agree that media has a way of only showing western cultures as important and overlooking other issues at hand that are just as serious if not more. This is relevant recently with the Paris attacks. Although that was a tragedy that should never have happened, there were and currently are tragedies going on all over the world that are far worst, yet they are not shown in the media at all because they are not western countries.

This week in class we learned more about the core concepts of Islam and going back to basics of understanding these cores. These concepts included retreat, repentance, striving, shielding, renunciation, scrupulousness, opposing the self, vicious envy, backbiting, and a few other. Reflecting on these concepts and how they pertain to my own life made me realize about things that I overlook now because I deem them acceptable when they are in fact not.

In Response to Hamptonmilford, I also agree that watching Camp X-ray was difficult. Through my minimal knowledge of what goes on in Guantanamo Bay, I know that they treat the prisoners there poorly to say the least, however, I never imagined how those prisoners must feel knowing they are innocent. The most powerful moment of the movie so far is when he explains why he acts like a “difficult” prisoner. He says in following the rules that are put upon him, he acknowledges that those rules are okay to have been instituted in the first place. He has a point. The Americans have no right whatsoever to give rules to these prisoners who are innocent. The most amazing part of the movie is the resilience in resistance from the prisoners. They stand together in hunger strikes because they simply have nothing to lose. So far I like this movie, and am interested to see how it will end.

I really liked the movie Four Lions. I thought it was hilarious and it made people laugh at things that no one should laugh at but that was the best part. At first I didn’t know how I felt about it and didn’t know if I should laugh or not, but I realize now that it was all to show just how stupid the mentality of terrorists really is. The ending was pretty sad, just because I was hoping that the terrorists would realize what they were doing was wrong. But overall it was a good movie and it forces people to laugh at things that are serious.

In response @reginaphalange104, I also had a tough time with focusing when we were focusing on each sense. My mind would wander onto random things at first but eventually I got the hang of it and would keep focus. I liked that we did that exercise because it really teaches that the smallest things actually make a big difference. Each sense is so important and I feel like I don’t use them to the best ability that I can. After doing that in class I’m going to try to be better at paying more attention to each sense.

This week we learned about the difference between Sunni and Shia. Although I know more or less the differences between the two, I also realize that I am pretty oblivious to much of it. I wrote a paper on a shia muslim and just listening to her taught me a lot about the different shia culture. I say culture because most of the differences between shia and sunni muslims is primarily cultural differences. In the end, both sects are of the same religion and it is just cultural differences that set them apart.

In response to @pizzaluvr5, I agree. I thought the movie was pretty hilarious, but I also was so mad at times. I thought it was funny in that it made fun of terrorists to show that it isn’t in fact the religion that makes these people do the things that they do, but it is their own stupidity and irrational thinking. Even the main guy is faltering when he tries to explain it to his son in terms of Lion King. He realizes that his kid is right, but is brainwashed by himself and his weird rationality into something completely different. The movie also made me mad, however, because they would take the religion and completely alter it into words that justify what they’re doing. Like at one point they were all in the car listening to the Quran on the way to blow something up and that just made me so angry.