Open house educates public on Islam
Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010
Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010 23:04
West Virginia University students got a chance to experience Islam, the world's fastest growing religion of 1.4 billion followers, Saturday at the Islamic Center of Morgantown's Open House.
The comparative religion-themed event featured booths describing different aspects of the religion.
One booth explained the role of women in Islam. At another, Muslim youths from local high schools described the hijab, the headdress worn by Muslim women.
Attendees learned that, contrary to what is often presented by the media, Islam does not oppress women. Presenters cited verses from the Quran, the Islamic holy book, to support their statement.
They noted one third of new Muslims today are women.
The event's main session was a lecture given by Imam Sohail Chaudry, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center. He discussed the Prophet Muhammad's role in the Christian Bible.
Islam is also the most misunderstood religion, he said.
"We ourselves have a lot to do with that ignorance, because we do not make the effort to go out and meet Muslims in our area," he said.
"We don't go out to our local Islamic center – we believe whatever the television tells us."
Chaudry explained Muslims believe in Jesus Christ, though differently than Christians.
Jesus is seen as a prophet, born of the Virgin Mary but not the son of God, unlike in Christianity.
Tabatha Fego, a sophomore education major, attended the event to earn extra credit for her world religion class.
"We learned about Islam, and it was just really interesting to come here and sort of see it in action after learning about it," she said.
Catalina Mejia, a sophomore advertising major, agreed.
"I like Islam a lot more now after coming here and learning about it. It's really cool to see how other people practice their religion," she said.