Islamic Leaders in TN Offer Public Courses to Promote Understanding

December 12, 2004

Source: Tennessean

http://www.tennessean.com/local/archives/04/12/63400747.shtml?Element_ID=63400747

On December 12, 2004 Tennessean reported, "when Awadh Binhazim holds diversity training in the Nashville area, he asks his students what comes to mind when they hear the word Muslim. Many say 'murderer,' 'terrorist' or 'bad religion.' To counter these beliefs, Binhazim and other leaders of the Islamic Center of Nashville will hold free weekly classes on Islam at Tennessee State University starting next month. As outreach director of the center, it's Binhazim's job to promote understanding of the Islamic faith in the community � one of the center's primary missions... The first step toward eliminating the misunderstandings surrounding Islam is to 'open the doors of dialogue with non-Muslims,' said Amir Arain, an Islamic Center board member and Vanderbilt University neurology professor... While the classes are designed for non-Muslims, organizers say some of those within the faith need more information on their religion to explain it to others accurately. In the workplace, at school and in the community, many people ask Muslims about their faith and Islamic views on war and terrorism. In Binhazim's view, these questions offer local Muslims an opportunity to dispel negative stereotypes and promote understanding."