A new understanding

By Joslyn Reisinger, Columnist

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IMG_1370A very common misconception is that all people who are of the Muslim faith are either terrorists or a threat to us as a whole.

I went on a tour of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Oct. 4 with my cultural anthropology class. A member of the community, Dr. Fatima Al-Hayani, graciously offered to show us around the mosque and tell us all about the Islamic religion.

She compared the Bible and Christianity to the Koran. They are actually extremely similar. So many parts of the Koran line up with what the Bible says.

We also learned about how they prepare and bury the bodies of their people after they pass.

These are just a few of the interesting things I learned about their culture and history, but I think the most noteworthy of all is the passion and dedication these people have for their religion. They actually pray five times a day!

While observing a prayer service, we saw people pour into the mosque and take a moment to themselves to reflect and pray. By the time the sermon started, the floor was filled with people who were ready to worship.

They all welcomed our group of 30 students who observed. With very loving and kind attitudes from the congregation, I felt lucky to be able to be a part of their sacred time. It was truly a beautiful moment.

The sermon was about the dangers of ISIS and how they need to separate themselves as a community from this negative group. I think it’s interesting that people assume they are a part of that terrorist group, yet in reality they are trying to avoid ISIS, just like we are. This is truly just an unfortunate stereotype.

So many of the people there have families and jobs. They are just like anyone else who comes to this country wanting better opportunities to provide for themselves and their families.

It breaks my heart to know that some people assume that everyone from Islam is a threat to the United States. I have always known this was far from the truth, and just being among these people for a few hours solidified that. We need to be more sensitive and patient while becoming educated about their religion, which is currently viewed in a negative light.

We should remember that our country is a melting pot.



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