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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winding Down 2015: The Struggle For the Soul of Islam

As we wind down 2015, we "broke" our sabbatical to feature a very perceptive talk given by Professor Abbas Milani of Stanford University at the Commonwealth Club of California on the Reality of #Daesh today:

As we went to press, we wanted to also share this we received from the Founder of Zayunta College, Sheikh Hamza Yousef that underscores the struggle Professor Milani noted:


Dear Friend,

Salam alaykum. The 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard warned that the media has the capacity to “stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.”

As Muslims—and as the latest in a long line of targeted communities in the United States—we can sense the real danger of allowing such misguided rhetoric to continue, as bigoted views about us are now vividly featured in the media every day. Over time, people are brainwashed to hate people they have never met, and when they do meet them, to treat them with contempt or worse.

Much of this animus against Islam and Muslims comes from fear that is rooted in ignorance, and the only way to counter it is with knowledge. We need to educate the broader public about our faith—and, at Zaytuna College, in addition to educating our students, we’re committed to doing as much outreach as possible.

But some of the fear comes from the violent, heinous acts of a small but vocal minority of zealots who have hijacked our religion.
We must also counter their extremist ideology with knowledge and light to protect our youth—and to educate our fellow citizens.
Fortunately, we have been successful of late in working with sincere members of the media—from PBS and NPR to the L.A. Times and the Cairo Review of Global Affairs—who are interested in ensuring that Islam and Muslims are represented fairly.

I encourage you to read (and view) these stories and to share them with your friends and families—and to thank these media organizations by commenting on their respective websites.
We will continue to work on such stories as we look to 2016.


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