Community Outreach
Last comment by Bryant 4 years, 2 months ago.

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An aquaintance passed this to me today and I do not know how I feel about it, look it over and I will continue after the announcement.

Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys Reading and Discussion Series

Filed under: Events and Exhibits — zachsnews @ 11:41 am and tagged ALA, American Library Association, Averitt Center for the Arts, Let's Talk about It, Muslim Journeys, National Endowment for the Humanitites, NEH, Pathways of Faith, Statesboro Regional Library

Henderson Library is hosting a five-part reading and discussion series titled Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys. Discussions of important themes in Muslim history and literature will be led by Dr. Hemchand Gossai and Professor John Parcels.

The first of five books to be discussed is The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, Islam by F. E. Peters. Discussion will be on January 28 at 7:00 pm in Room 1300 of Henderson Library.
Twenty-five copies of each of the five books to be discussed are available free on a first come, first served basis. To register for a copy of The Children of Abraham and to participate in the discussion on January 28, please call 912-478-5115 or e-mail For more information about the discussion series please go to

The other four books to be discussed are:

Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan A. C. Brown

2/18@7:00 pm Sorrier Room, Statesboro Regional Library
The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life by Ingrid Mattson

3/11@7:00pm Room 1300, Zach S. Henderson Library
The Art of Hajj by Venetia Porter

4/1@7:00pm Sorrier Room, Statesboro Regional Library
Rumi: Poet and Mystic edited and translated by Reynold A. Nicholson.

4/22@7:00pm Room 1300, Zach S. Henderson Library

Funding for the series was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). Henderson Library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project, which seeks to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. The Muslim Journeys theme that Henderson Library has chosen to explore is “Pathways of Faith.”

The Averitt Center for the Arts and the Statesboro Regional Library are community partners with Henderson Library for the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys grant.

I have several questions concerning the above event. First is why? Do we have a large Muslim community in Statesboro and has there been any issues involving them as a group that has generated a need for the locals to have a better understanding of the culture? The five day program discusses Judaism and Christianity for one third of one session each; Islam takes the balance of the program. If the program were five cultures or religions with one per day I could see it as a good learning experience but the heavy favor of Islam looks more like indoctrination. It is being held on the campus where the captive audience is between the ages of eighteen and twenty two and will probably be a class requirement for many. Sponsorship is also a bit surprising; I’ve come to expect the University to be an ultraliberal area but the Averitt Center and the Regional Library.

No wonder there is a dramatic rise in Islam worldwide, seems as though a lot of people have become infatuated with bowing to or encouraging an “understanding” of the religion, culture or faith. I don’t quite understand that, other nationalities, religions or faiths have come to this country and have assimilated into the population of the United States and not expected that everyone else be careful not to offend the sensitive Muslims. Our obsession with”understanding” is not quite right some way for a religion who’s Koran preaches to “kill the infidel”. An Infidel is anyone that does not practice Islam. We hear of the moderate Muslim who only wants to live a peaceful life, I wonder where they are, you never hear of them condemning violate Islamic supported actions. There appears to be an acceptance we all should have, take a look at what is happening in several European countries with their effort to “accept”.

This is far from the Country I grew up in and my tolerance is wearing thin. Today we are suppose to welcome millions of illegal aliens and I don’t know why. Some believe that the Constitution needs to be changed or radically amended. Why change what has made us the strongest nation in the world? Explain to me why we should be tolerant of those that by the religion they practice mean to harm us. Please give me the logic in all of this.

Latest Activity: Jan 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM

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gawalkman commented on Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM


It's not a question of how many Muslims we have in the Bulloch County area. Sometimes it is a good idea to look at other cultures, if you want to understand your own. It is easier to tolerate others if one has been educated and informed. It is very difficult to tolerate when ignorant. We can fight ignorance by becoming more educated. However, fighting stupidity is difficult.

I don't know Dr. Gossal, but I do know Dr. Parcels. His background is in philosophy and I find him to be a fair minded man. He presented a session on the history of Muslim art and architecture last year. It was a free event at the Averitt Arts Center and sponsored by the Henderson Library. I had forgotten how much that culture has contributed to the world of architecture and art over the centuries. Our appreciation of the various forms would be smaller without their influence.

You might discover not every Muslim wants to destroy the infidels. If we were to judge Christianity by the actions of a few extremist, Christianity would be a bad thing too.

If your faith in your God and country is strong, you have nothing to lose by attending. You only have something to lose by not taking a few hours to learn something new.

My God is a Christian God. He gave me a brain. I will admit I am not as intelligent as Leonardo da Vinci was. However, I do believe that we dishonor our heavenly father when we fail to learn something because we desire to cover our ears and eyes.

We can be mindless, like our politicians, or we can work to overcome our shortcomings.

mbraz commented on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Having worked regularly with the three sponsoring organizations (the University's Henderson Library, the Statesboro Regional Library, and the Averitt Center), I'm pleased to see them offering this project to our community. Since Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share the common classification of "Abrahamic religions," there is potentially much to be gained from these events.

This past summer/fall, I participated with the "America's Music" project—co-sponsored by several of these same organizations (with the assistance of the ALA, NEH and Tribecca Film Institute)—and found the materials, viewpoints, and presentation to be exceptionally fair and balanced. The audience surveys indicated a great deal of pleasure with the various films, concerts, and discussions.

There's lots more I could say, but it would basically restate what gawalkman put so well. Suffice it to say that these sponsoring organizations deserve our appreciation for the extra—and unheralded—work they do to attract such interesting and informative exhibits to our area.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 at 19:39 PM

I see Scruples point. I am a little tired of being so 'accepting.' I feel that every inch I give is not longer 'shared' or 'accepted'but is 'seized' and 'held by a religion/culture that currently offers little solace or quarter to those outside it faith.

I wonder how many "Christian" experiences are offered in Dearborn MI - the largest muslim community in the US?

gawalkman commented on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014 at 22:08 PM

The success or greatness of Christianity is not measured by the number of Christians. It is in how we carry the message.

Paulie commented on Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 14:18 PM

Here's a link to just a few Christian churches in Dearborn, MI.

No doubt there are many more not listed. Anyone looking for a Christian experience can find it easily in Dearborn, and in every other community across the United States.

Great posts, Walkie. A little more education can help us all. Your best point that can be applied to just about anything new: "If your faith in your God and country is strong, you have nothing to lose by attending. You only have something to lose by not taking a few hours to learn something new."

It's hard to understand how anyone can make the leap that the "Let's Talk About It" series is indoctrination.

I'm looking forward to learn something new.

Bryant commented on Friday, Jan 24, 2014 at 13:57 PM

Scruples, the Muslim commmunity, large or not, probably does not need an orientation to their religion. Just as Christians, professed or otherwise, would not need an orientation to the Bible.

In view of the prevalent misconceptions and paranoid rhetoric about Muslims and Islam (often expressed on this very site)I would think an introduction would serve many people well. And, I thank you for the post as I was unaware of the upcoming events but will try my best to attend. Always up for learning.

Walkie, good comments.

jvestal commented on Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I'd like to take this op to also note that, as part of GSU 'First Year Experience' Global Engagement Series, Prof. Sohail Hashmi of Mount Holyoke College will be presenting "Islam, Constitutionalism and The Challenge of Democracy" on April 24, 4:00pm, in Assembly Hall (Nessmith-Lane Bldg).

Prof. Hashmi is Professor of International Relations and Alumnae Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences at Mount Holyoke College, where he has taught since 1994. He is also currently the chairman of the International Relations Department.

Hashmi’s research and teaching interests focus on comparative international ethics, particularly concepts of just war and peace, and on the study of religion in politics, particularly Islam in domestic and international politics. He has published on a range of topics in Islamic ethics and political theory, including sovereignty, humanitarian intervention, tolerance, civil society, and the theory of jihad. He is currently working on a book analyzing Muslim responses to the rise of international law.

Hashmi received a B.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard and an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton. He has been awarded fellowships and research grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Carnegie and W. Alton Jones Foundations.

He's also a 1980 graduate of Statesboro High. :>)

Bryant commented on Monday, Jan 27, 2014 at 15:30 PM

Thanks for the info. I studied under (I believe) Prof. Hashmi's father at Georgia Southern in the very early 70s.

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