Volume 95, Issue 31
Friday, October 26, 2001
MSA lecture discusses Islam
Speaker aims to bridge gap between religions
By Mandrina Caputi
Despite the disappearance of their posters this week, the Muslim Students Association saw a good turn out for their lecture on Islam and Christianity last night.
The keynote speaker was Shabir Ally, host of the television show "Let the Quran Speak."
The purpose of the talk, according to Mariam Hamou, former Western student and MSA advisor, was to bridge the gap between Christianity and Islam and to let people know Muslims believe in Jesus.
MSA president Khurram Khan introduced the speaker. "It is important to build bridges and fill gaps," Khan said. "We live in a multicultural society and it is absolutely paramount that we have tolerance."
He explained Judaism and Islam are the faiths of much of the world's population. "If one does not understand these faiths, then you've misunderstood over half of humanity," he said.
Ally began by explaining the Quran contains many references to Jesus. "The Quran shows him as being one of the greatest prophets," he said "He is a very important figure in history".
Ally noted what he believes to be are many of the similarities between the Christian version of the story of Jesus' life and that of the Muslim one.
"There are passages that seem to indicate that Jesus was returned from the dead, but they are illusive and not very definite in their meaning" he said. "Jesus' birth was miraculous, his exit was mysterious and the second coming was awesome.
"Jesus is seen by Muslims to be a preacher of God, while our Christian friends may see his virgin birth as a divinity."
There appeared to be a mix of people in the audience, including both Muslim and non-Muslim people. "One of my friends is a Muslim, so I just came to check it out," explained third-year English student Kristy Love, who is not Muslim herself.
Also in attendance was Fanshawe College student Greg (who withheld his last name), who had converted to Islam five months ago.
"I was raised a Christian," he said. "We are always taught the similarities between Christianity and Judaism, but not Islam and Christianity."
Copyright © The Gazette 2001