Muslim Students Aim to Educate About Religions

March 5, 2010 by · Comments Off 

by Nicolle Keogh
nkeogh@mail.smu.edu

SMU’s Muslim Student Association tried to increase students’ understanding of other religions by pointing out the similarities between three prominent religions in America: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism with displays in the Hughes-Trigg commons on Thursday, March 4.

Posters were on display from 10 a.m-2 p.m. informing students of the fundamentals of each religion, stating their places of origin, Holy Books, and prophets. Members of the MSA were active at the event, serving traditional Middle Eastern foods like hummus and pitas, and speaking with interested students about the importance of increasing people’s understanding of other religions.

“It’s important to talk about religions like Islam and Judaism to help unify our country,” sophomore Sarah Anwar said. Though a lot of people do not know it, “the roots of all three religions are almost identical,” said Aisha Salman. For example, one poster on display was dedicated to presenting prophets valued and shared among Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. “The names differ, but they refer to the same people,” Salman said.

One poster compared Islam’s and Christianity’s beliefs in Jesus. Many similarities were found among both religions regarding Jesus, including that they both believe God raised Jesus up to Heaven and that Jesus will return in a Second Coming. Islam and Christianity also share the ideas that the Disciples followed Jesus and preached Gospel and that Jesus was born to Mary by the command of God in a virgin birth.

Another display brought attention to the three Holy Books: the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran. These three texts have more in common than most people think. All three share the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham and the Sacrifice, Moses and the Egyptians, and finally, the destruction of the Koran.

“These days, people only hear about Islam and Judaism because of current events, which focus on the differences between those religions and Christianity,” freshman Yumna Ham said. Just as the MSA wants to spread an understanding of the similarities of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, “all the prophets wanted to spread the same ideas,” junior Zainab Farzal said.

The MSA has about 40 active members, not including alumni, who still come to meetings to participate and help. Events were held in Hughes-Trigg until Friday March 5, providing information about Islam and other religions for the entire SMU community.