Hugh Fitzgerald: At the University of Northern Iowa, It’s Time for Islam 101 (Part One)

Friday, February 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

FEB 15, 2019

“Muslim students to discuss hijab, jihad during ‘Islam 101,’” by Amie Steffen, The Courier, November 12, 2018:

To someone who isn’t Muslim, or doesn’t know anyone who practices Islam, the concept of “jihad” may sound bad.

To Muslims, “jihad” isn’t negative at all. But despite more Muslims joining the Cedar Valley [sic] each year, the disconnect between Islamic and non-Islamic communities persists.

We can guess exactly how “Jihad” will be presented to a non-Muslim audience at the lecture called Islam 101. Attention will be focused on the spurious hadith in which Muhammad, returning home from fighting, is said to have exclaimed that he was returning from the “lesser” Jihad of combat to the “greater” Jihad of personal moral struggle. Muslim apologists love to quote these words attributed to Muhammad, but they never tell us it’s based on a very questionable hadith, with a weak chain of narration (isnad).

“Nadir Khan believes a lack of education is the issue, and his group has come up with a solution.

Islam 101, organized by the Muslim Students Association of the University of Northern Iowa, will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday [November 14] at the Mocker Union Ballroom on UNI’s campus.

The lecture will feature two speakers: Dem Kazkaz, a Syrian-American activist and president of the Masjid Al Noor Islamic Center in Waterloo; and Miriam Amer, a Lebanese-American activist and founder of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“The community is getting bigger,” Khan, president of the 25-member MSA, said. “Due to the political climate, and seeing all that is happening, this helps to bridge the gap between groups.”

Topics discussed will include the actual meaning of jihad, the importance of the hijab, fasting during Ramadan, what Islam teaches about humanity and the shared brotherhood between Christianity and Islam.

The “actual meaning of Jihad” to be conveyed will of course not be that which is accepted both by Jihadis around the world, and by mainstream Muslims, too. Nor will it be that presented by thousands of Qur’anic scholars and commentators. For Jihadis, mainstream Muslims, and Qur’anic commentators, Jihad means warfare against the Infidels, until they are killed, or converted, or they accept the permanent status of dhimmis, subject to a host of onerous conditions, including payment of the Jizyah. The “actual meaning of Jihad” the Muslim speakers will offer will be that of a “personal moral struggle,” based on that single weak hadith in which Muhammad returns home from the battlefield, declaring that he has returned from the “lesser” to the “greater” jihad of domestic life.

The “importance of the hijab” presentation will discuss the function of cover — from the simple hijab, a kerchief or foulard that covers only the hair, to the full covering provided by the chador (in Iran), the burka (in Afghanistan), and the niqab (in Saudi Arabia), where a woman is totally covered save for a cloth grill over her face (with the burka), or eye-slits (with the niqab). These types of cover will be discussed as the means to prevent Muslim men from being unduly aroused, by hiding the wearer’s physical beauty. These various covers will be presented, unsurprisingly, not as being anywhere imposed on women by men, but as freely chosen by Muslim women.

The Rest…HERE

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