The Muslim Student Association kicked off Islamic Awareness Week on Monday with a motivational lecture by Islamic speaker Abu Omar Irfan Kabiruddin.
Kabiruddin’s message was simple: He wants Muslims to be proud and promote Islam as a peaceful religion. He expressed frustration with the perception some people have had with Islam since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“People are scared when a Muslim enters the room and that should not
happen.” Kabiruddin said.
Kabiruddin believes the negative perception of Islam comes from the American media, but he also feels Muslims need to be accountable for promoting Islam as a peaceful religion. He believes non-Muslims will gain a sense of comfort toward Islam once they are educated.
“It’s all about education. Taking it to them. Telling them about Islam!,” Kabiruddin yelled into the crowd.
Islamic Awareness Week is designed to improve understanding about the world’s second largest religion. The MSA hosted a movie night on Tuesday, and hosted an evening of “Women United” on Wednesday.
While many Muslims may be frustrated about the stereotyping of Islam in the United States, Kabiruddin said they should be appreciative of living in such a tolerable country. He pointed out that Muslims in America can dress however they want, and suggested that other countries would have banned Islam and kicked Muslims out of their country following Sept. 11, 2001.
Kabiruddin said being a Muslim was tough after the attacks because of all the hostility toward the Islamic religion. But he was surprised and touched by the cards and flowers he was sent from his non-Muslim friends to still show their support for Kabiruddin and Islam.
Kabiruddin wants Muslims to not to be discouraged about the continuing terrorist’s acts in the Middle East.
“The terrorist’s attacks we see overseas have nothing to do with Islam,” Kabiruddin said.
Fine, fine, Kabiruddin. Now convince the terrorists of that.
Another point of Kabiruddin’s speech was to remind Muslims to respect other religions such as Christianity and Judiasm. Kabiruddin believes all religions should respect and accept each other, even though they have different beliefs.
“We don’t want to degrade and disrespect other prophets [preachers of different religions]. We believe in all the prophets,” Kabiruddin said.
Of course he doesn’t want to degrade and disrespect other prophets, but if he is an orthodox Muslim, he doesn’t believe those prophets were “preachers of different religions.” He believes they taught Islam, and their renegade followers altered their messages.