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Islam in a Secular Society – an Islam Awareness Week special event @ Bham Uni this Saturday
You and your friends are invited to a free event this Saturday evening at Birmingham Uni, entitled “Islam in a Secular Society: an enlightening perspective”.
Islam is a religion evermore widespread in the UK and around the world today. It’s a faith often in the public eye, in receipt of negative publicity. It’s the victim of endless targeted propaganda and ignorant stereotyping. The average British citizen is full of misconceptions about this religion. Even many self-described Muslims are unaware of core principles in this religion – a deep religion full of wisdom that few people manage to unlock in their lifetime.
Concepts and misconceptions
One common misconception takes place when we hear Muslims saying that their god is “the god” or that their religion is “the religion”. Unless they’re also misinterpreting it themselves (and to be fair, they sometimes are) the true meaning of language like “the god” and “the religion” is not to say “we choose to ignore and neglected all others” but rather to say “we believe that our way recognises and accommodates everyone in every place, and offers a route of progression right through from the most hellish of situations to normal life on earth to heavenly paradise and to resting in peace”. Indeed, while traditionally there are inequalities in every society, perpetuated by narrow-minded individuals, the key rolemodels within Islamic culture (going back many thousands of years) are said to be some of the most all-welcoming and trusted people to have walked the Earth. The Islamic prophet Mohammed is said to have safeguarded his enemies’ possessions – they trusted him that much – they banked on his honesty even while waging war against him.
What about veils? What’s the point in a veil? Well, first off, there are many British Muslims who don’t wear a veil, indeed, many self-described British Muslims look just like common westerners. But what about those who do wear them? Well, a common misconception is that it’s just a way in which men oppress women – dehumanising them, taking their power away, etc, etc. And while traditionally many an unwise Muslim has behaved like this with the thought that it’s merely a convenient attribute of his family’s accepted religion, there is in fact some perfectly sound logic behind why a woman may choose to wear a veil. It’s based on the same logic as to why supermarkets put their luxury products on prominent display, under the spotlight, to tease you into behaving irrationally and potentially purchasing something that’s not cheap or healthy. The idea is, if you see something that you want, it will rattle you – it will disturb you – you’ll be teased to do something about it. In this way, when a normal hormone-driven man sees an attractive woman showing off her body, he is also disturbed and is more likely to behave irrationally than if he never saw her on display. Even a woman’s face can have this effect if she’s got luscious lips for example. (Who hasn’t heard men talking about Angelina Jolie’s lips?) When a woman shows off her body, perhaps just a pretty face, perhaps legs, clevage or more, this may cause as small a problem as tripping up or falling over, or it may lead to more serious forms of sexually-inspired misbehaviour such as harassment or rape. In such cases of men falling head-over-heels at the sight of women, it’s not directly the woman’s fault, but she could have done something to help prevent it, and it is directly the man’s fault, but he was teased out of his right mind. This is why women are encouraged to cover their bodies within traditional Islamic culture, but if you believe it’s against women’s rights, you’re welcome to believe that. Within true Islam, nothing is forced – you’re welcome to believe what you like – you’re simply warned by ancient prophecy about the likely consequences of your deeds and you’re advised to behave in the best way accordingly.
For more Islamic issues discussed and potentially debunked, revolving around the topic of Islam in a secular society, come along to the event at Birmingham Uni’s Edgbaston campus this Saturday evening.
Issues up for discussion this Saturday include:
“Hijab” vs Women’s Rights – should women be oppressed – forced to hide at home and cover their face, or should they simply be politely encouraged to behave most modestly?
“The Straight Path” vs Gay Rights – is homosexuality outcast or simply discouraged from escalating unnaturally?
Freedom of Choice – Should people force each other to obey God or simply have faith that God will take care of everything?
“Jihad” vs Terrorism – Jihad is the Islamic principle of holy war – purely defensive and minimally violent, but often twisted to be construed as terrorism by media moguls who are in fact intellectual terrorists themselves. But not everyone knows this, and of course it affects a lot of people – it brings misery into many Muslim households in the UK – so the issue is up for discussion this Saturday night.
Where and when
To attend this event, come down to Cadbury Room, St Francis Hall, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2TT at 6:30pm on Saturday 16th March 2013.
St. Francis Hall is located just after the University’s East Gate, towards the Bristol Road end of Edgbaston Park Road.
For further information on the venue, you may find this link from Birmingham Uni’s website useful: https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/studentservices/chaplaincy/about/sfh.aspx
All are kindly requested to spread the word and share this event with friends, colleagues, teachers – anyone who might be interested. This event’s organisers have said, the more diverse a crowd they can attract, the better.
For more information please visit the official Facebook page for this event here: