March 26, 2009
The Muslim Student Association held a Human Rights panel discussion in the Hughes- Trigg Ballroom Monday night for Islam Awareness Week. The panel featured Islamic experts, Dr. Imam Yusuf Ziya Kavakci and Mike Ghouse, who focused on popular controversial human rights issues and how they are affected by faith.
Islam Awareness Week began on Friday of last week and will continue until this Friday (March 27) in the Hughes-Trigg Commons.
Before Ghouse and Dr. Kavakci began speaking, both the men and several members of the audience prayed in the corner as a part of their daily routine. As the president of the MSA, Osman Ahmed, explained Muslims pray five times throughout a day at specific times.
Mike Ghouse started off by describing different greetings for a range of religions and their implications. From Islam to Christianity, each greeting is supposed to "communicate the good in you that is reflected in me." He used greetings between peoples to branch off into a discussion of general justice and how it can be found within different cultures.
To demonstrate the value and humanity of Islam or any other religion, Ghouse took out a $100 bill, crumpled it up, spit on it and stepped on it. He then asked if people still wanted it, to which the audience replied yes. This is the same with beliefs.
"Though it is kicked or spit on," Ghouse said, "the value does not change."
Justice is a core part of Islam. To be Muslim is to be a peacemaker and seek justice, Ghouse said. Many prophets of different religions have spoken the same words. Jesus said to "turn the other cheek" and Mohammed encouraged conflicting leaders to help each other.
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