Oklahoma, 7 Rabiul Akhir 1434/17 February 2013 (MINA) – An interfaith student association at University of Oklahoma is holding its first weekly discussion on Islam Monday to generate a better understanding of Muslims and Islam. It is also as  an effort to change negative perceptions about Islam among students.
       “There is no conflict between these religions, They are all Abrahamic religions,” Osman Bayindir, a member of the Interfaith Dialogue Student Association, told The Oklahoma Daily, quoted by
        The discussion which will be hold Monday (18/2) themed “Questions About Islam”, allow students to ask questions about the Muslim faith, according to reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Sunday.
       The discussions were planned after recent surveys reflected a growing mistrust among Americans for Islam and Muslims, as well as to highlight similarities between Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

“A Muslim cannot be a terrorist, and a terrorist cannot be a Muslim”

      The Muslim Association hopes that the weekly sessions would help change the negative opinions about Islam. “A Muslim cannot be a terrorist, and a terrorist cannot be a Muslim,” Bayindir said.
      Bayindir voiced hope that the discussions will help the community understand that Islam and terrorism are incompatible.  He is also hopeful that the discussions would also help end misconceptions that Islam and Democracy are incompatible.
     “Human rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, kid’s rights – everything exists in Islam,” Bayindir said.
      The association will have speakers from the community come talk about various subjects.
      A Gallup Poll conducted in 2011 showed that nearly a third of Americans who responded to the survey reported their opinion of Islam is “not favorable at all.”  Americans’ views of Christianity and Judaism were more likely to be “very favorable” than “not favorable at all,” according to the same poll.
      An earlier at the survey agency found that the majority of American Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
      More than half of Muslim Americans responding to a 2011 PEW Research poll said that it had become more difficult to be a Muslim in America since the 9/11 attacks.
      Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.(T/P03/E1).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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