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MSA hosts lecture on Islam and Christianity

February 22, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG
News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

The Muslim Student Association shared both pizza and ideas with their fellow students Feb. 8 as the group hosted Mounir Bourkiza, the head of the Islamic Society of Central Louisiana, for a lecture titled “Islam and Christianity, Closer Than You Think.”

 

The lecture consisted of topics comparing both the holy texts of both religions and the beliefs held by both groups. It was followed by a short question and answer session to allow the crowd to have some of their most pressing questions about the faiths to be heard.

 

Ibrahim Al-Agha, the spokesperson for the MSA, said they wanted to host the lecture to help people understand what Muslims actually believe and fight stereotypes of Islamic beliefs.

 

“We wanted to bring awareness of Islam and what we really believe to the public where people really have a misrepresentation of what that really is,” Al-Agha said. “I hope that people can see that there is common ground and a common foundation between all humans. We’re not some blood-thirsty race of heathens. We’re just like you. We are no different than any other American in this country, and we just want to be understood.”

 

He said he was happy to see so many people turn out to listen to the lecture. He said he thinks the crowd shows that more people are willing to learn about his religion and not just listen to what is said about it by those outside it.

 

“The involvement was great and the turnout was amazing,” he said. “It was better than what we had hoped for. Last year, we got 80 and this year we got more, maybe not doubled it, but numbers have definitely risen. I think that is due to the lectures before and the exposure to us that has made people want to learn more.”

 

Al-Agha said he and the MSA hope to get more events planned that will allow them to have conversations like this with the student body.

 

“We hope to have one (of these) once every year and hopefully that will turn into once a quarter,” he said. “We also plan on having more events. Maybe not like this, maybe some more informal events where people can come and meet us with the MSA and have a good conversation over some coffee or tea and just get to know each other. That would be awesome.”

 

Rachel Gremillion, a senior biology major, said she went to hear how her faith and Islam compared as well as get to understand why Muslims believe as they do.

 

“I came to hear more about the Islamic faith and what they believe in regards to Christianity,” Gremillion said. “I, myself am a Christian and I was curious as to how their beliefs line up.”

 

She said the night taught her a lot and inspired her to ask more questions and look into the Islamic faith more.

 

“I learned a lot about what they believe about the lineage of Jesus Christ and the resurrection and that they believe that Jesus is coming back at the end times,” she said. “I have a lot of questions and a lot of research that I want to do. I want to see how their story lines up with ours and why they believe theirs is the one that is more valid when I believe mine is more valid.”

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