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Islamic association hosts lecture

February 5, 2015

 

KAILEE COURTS
Staff Reporter

 

Following recent events like the attack on  the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, are many misconceptions exist about the Islamic religion and culture group.

 

Louisiana Tech’s Muslim Student Association held a lecture to inform students about the misconceptions of the Islamic culture.

 

Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, the president of the Islamic Center in Monroe, was the speaker at the lecture.

Khalil answers questions after the talk–Photo by Colin Fontenot

Khalil answers questions after the talk–Photo by Colin Fontenot

 

“Muslims make up one-fourth of the world’s population,” he said.

 

Khalil spoke about the main beliefs and practices of Islam.

 

“There are the basic things some people already know about Islam,” said Khalil a cardiologist with Medical Groups and Clinics in Monroe. “Then there are more in-depth things people are a little confused about.”

 

Khalil said Islam is a strict monotheistic faith, meaning Muslims only believe in one god. He siad Muslims worship Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for God, and all acts of worship revolve around praising Allah.

 

He said Muslims believe that Mohammed is the last prophet from Allah so he is not worshipped by them.

 

One of the main topics he brought up was the issue of terrorists and jihad.

 

“In Islam, jihad is the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin,” he said. “Non-Muslims believe that jihad is synonymous with fighting and it is not.”

 

Khalil said Muslims do not believe in fighting unless it is for self-defense, family or country.

 

“We do not believe in such a thing as war until elimination,” he said. “We do not attack people who do not fight.”

 

Khalil said there is so much more to jihad than what the media have covered.

 

“The attacks going on are not something condoned by the teachings of Islam,” he said.

 

Nicole Rusk, a junior communication major, said she came to the lecture because she does not know much about Islam and wanted to hear from someone who is a practicing Muslim.

 

“I think a huge misconception about Islam is how they view their god,” she said. “I want to know more about what they worship, what their religion entails and how they view other religions.”

 

Rusk said she was happy the lecture was held because it was informative for people who were truly interested.

 

Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, a  cardiologist, speaks to a gathering of students– Photo by Colin Fontenot

Dr. Mahmoud Khalil, a
cardiologist, speaks to a gathering of students– Photo by Colin Fontenot

“I was able to leave with a better understanding of what Muslims really believe,” she said. “I thought the lecture was very informational.”

 

Ibrahim Al-Agha, the spokesperson for the Muslim Student Association, said the organization’s members wanted all who went to the lecture to take away truthful information about Islam.

 

“Since the perception of Muslims and Islam in the west has been misconstrued, we wanted people to have their misconceptions about Islam answered,” said Al-Agha, a freshman computer science major..

 

Al-Agha said if students have questions about Islam, they can stop by the Islamic Center, located at 203 South Homer Street.

 

“People should not assume things about Muslims or Islam without asking a Muslim,” he said. “We are happy to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions about us.”

 

Email comments to kec029@latech.edu.

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