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Understanding Islam
Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church
Cambridge, MA
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Understanding Islam
Instructor: HAYAT IMAM

Fall 2019: 4 Sessions

Wednesdays:  September 25, October 2, 16, and 30

7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church, 1555 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138 (near Harvard Law School)

Course Fee: $65 payable at first session ($10 for student/low income)

By some accounts, over 60% of US citizens say they have never met a Muslim or know much about the religion of Islam. Yet, despite the lack of contact and interaction, a majority of Americans continue to define all Muslims as fanatics, violent and ignorant. This is not surprising because, their impression of Muslims is derived largely from narrow and biased reporting by media and other sources. This course is designed to bring an alternative voice, and a glimpse of the wider, sweeping, story of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world. So, who are we? What do Muslims find so appealing in Islam? What do we believe? What underlies Islamic culture and community? What is our experience with non-Muslims?

As an American Muslim, who has lived and worked in many Muslim countries, I will share facts and figures about Islam, but also my personal lived experiences as a practicing Muslim, as an immigrant, and as a peace activist. In the brief time well have together, Id like to share the story of my growing up years and the influence of my Muslim parents. From my 40 years of disciplined study and practice of the religion, I will discuss the fundamental principles of Islam and the essence of the religion, illustrated by relevant passages from the Quran. Well touch upon the impact of Islamic scholars on Western civilization and tackle some pertinent questions such as womens status in Islam, and how Islam views violence.

In this increasingly connected globe, its imperative for our survival to foster greater understanding and build bridges. This course will offer information that may feel challenging, but we may end up being surprised, and delighted, to find that, beyond the differences, people are more akin to us than we realized!

The course is offered in four sessions that will cover the following topics:

Islamic Culture and the Diversity of the Muslim World
Whats at the Heart of Islam
The Early History of the Islamic Community and Islams Contributions to Civilization
The Relationship between Muslims and the West, What Muslims Face in the USA Today, Visualizing a way forward together.
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion. Each session will include a presentation, interspersed with time for questions and answers.

Weekly Prep: Occasional Readings

Hayat Imam is an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi origin. She is a feminist-activist committed to building global social justice movements. Former Executive Director of the Boston Womens Fund and Board Chair of Grassroots International, she is an active member of Mass Peace Action and Dorchester People for Peace. Hayat was a keynote speaker at the Boston Womens March in January 2017 and, in the summer of 2018, at the Poor Peoples Campaign on the War Economy.

Co-Sponsored by: Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church and Massachusetts Peace Action


Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church (View)
1555 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States


Education > Classes

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Massachusetts Peace Action
On BPT Since: Feb 24, 2013
Massachusetts Peace Action

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