13 March 2009

tulsa islamic adventures

In my Humanities I class at TCC, we spend a week covering Islam (we also go over Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity), and today we spent two hours at the Islamic Society of Tulsa, with a tour of the mosque, a Powerpoint presentation and lots of questions and answers. They were very gracious, even bringing in pizza and drinks (we met at 11am). When I asked the woman guiding us about recommending a good translation of the Qur'an with commentary, she disappeared into the back and brought me out a 2000+ page hardback Qur'an with the Arabic, English translation, and explanatory notes, and gave it to me-wow.

It seems that one thing they are very interested in is combating mass media coverage of Islam, and they answer all the Jihad and terrorism questions with a bit of a smile. In fact, my favorite story from today is that one of my students came in 30 minutes late--he had apparently got lost in the neighborhood, finally found the Center, but went into the school connected to the mosque (a Muslim school, Peace Academy). When he asked about our group, the man responded that he would take him to the building where they were holding us hostage!

An 8th century critique of Islam, by St John of Damascus.

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