Friday, August 27, 2010

Opinion: Building mosques and burning Qurans: What would Jesus do?

The following is a portion of an op-ed published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on August 27, 2010. It was co-written by Ali Nizamuddin, an associate professor of political science at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

"The past few months have cast doubt in the hearts of many American Muslims about their role and future in this country. Two local issues have taken on national primacy and even received worldwide attention: the planned burning of the Quran on Sept. 11 and the Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan.

A small church of less than 100 followers in Gainesville, Fla., has decided to burn the Quran on Sept. 11. As such, a few zealots have successfully shaped our national discourse. Like other religious extremists, their myopia and hate prevents them from understanding the national and global impact of their actions.

The Quran is a sacred book for 1.57 billion people worldwide and approximately 8 million to 10 million American Muslims. It contains the narrative and teachings of about 25 prophets and messengers of God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus Christ. An entire chapter is devoted to Mary and her story. Jesus Christ is mentioned 25 times by name, and his virgin birth, miracles, heavenly ascension and ultimate return are preserved in the Quran."

Download a PDF of the full article