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.
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.
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?
The success or greatness of Christianity is not measured by the number of Christians. It is in how we carry the message.
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.
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.
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. :>)
Thanks for the info. I studied under (I believe) Prof. Hashmi's father at Georgia Southern in the very early 70s.