Friday, September 4, 2009

Introduction to Islamic Civilization

So today was the first day of the Introduction to Islamic Civilization's recitation class. Basically the recitation class splits the 200 or so student from the lecture to smaller groups of about 20 people. This is so that students can ask the teacher assistant more detailed questions without wasting too much time of the lecture.

The class started today with an introduction of each of us. I was amazed at how many of them wanting to take the subject because they're interested and not just to fulfill a requirement. Of course some do, but not most. A lot of them had questions regarding the comparison of the three Abrahamic religion, which is understandable since they're familiar with the other two, and not Islam. I was more than willing to give my input in this class.

I think, I answered the best I could to both questions raised which are:

"If at first Christians and Jews seem to support Muslims, where did the later animosity comes from?"

"Why do religions that claim to call upon peace go on and conquer places by means of violence?"

Even though I have a slight idea of the answers, I did not answer right away but waited to see what the others have to say on both subjects. As Rassyid said during the introduction, we're in this class because we want to get the western perspective on Islam. And I think I'm satisfied with what I got today.

Ms Titas, who is doing her PhD in History at Pitt, does not seem to have much knowledge on the basic of Islam, which I don't blame as she admitted that the first minute in. So, as a Muslim myself, I felt that I have to say something not to 'protect' Islam necessarily, but because I believe in what I say as the truth. Even though Rassyid said I was kind of too firm when answering, I did not mind. As we know, Islam is not something to be taken lightly. It is a very serious religion so I think I did good. I so want to be a good representative of Islam here. I really hope this class will help me.


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