Saturday, March 03, 2007

Islamic leader to Muslims: Educate others about Islam

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070302/NEWS01/70302038/1048/SPORTS

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

A prominent Islamic leader told a group of Muslims in a Detroit mosque on Friday that they should educate non-Muslims about Islam and spread the truth of their faith.

Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said during Friday prayers at the Islamic Center of Detroit that Muslims should try to "communicate the beauty of Islam to others."

Muslims in America have a unique opportunity to spread Islam, he told the crowd.

"To be a Muslim in America is something unique, something beautiful, something serious, and something promising, and something that is really challenging," Awad said. "Most of our neighbors and fellow Americans do not know one-hundredth of one percent of what you know about your religion. What they know is negative…what they see on television every day…People are hungry and thirsty to know the beauty of and learn about Islam."

Awad also urged the crowd to excel in their work, saying that Islam encourages it.

"You have to excel," Awad said. "That's the mentality of Muslims, and that's why Islam has spread through cultures and history."

Awad said that while Muslims may face challenges in the U.S, their problems are nothing compared to the challenges faced by early Muslims who were a minority "persecuted and isolated."

The council is the biggest civil rights and advocacy group in the U.S. Awad is speaking at the Islamic Center again tonight and at the Huda center in Franklin Hills on Saturday.

During his talk, Awad talked about the challenges faced by early believers of Islam in spreading their faith around the world.

"Learn to persevere," Awad told the crowd. And "think about what's going on beyond your borders…have an open and universal look at the world."Awad also pointed out how the Koran, he said, was a miracle. "The Koran says, the Romans will defeat the Persians in a matter of years," Awad said. "Had this not happened, it would prove that the Koran was not a miracle. It happened and Muslims rejoiced…there was evidence of the divine nature of the Koran, and the nature of Islam, and the nature of the Muslim minds."

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