Islam is the faith of approximately 1.3 billion followers all over the world, and almost one million across Canada. As the faith of one in every five human beings on earth, Islam has mostly been seen in terms of oil, turmoil, fundamentalism and bigotry -  which is not a clear and honest understanding. This lack of knowledge about the diverse and admittedly complicated world of Islam has given rise to pervasive, damaging misperceptions and stereotypes. An understanding of Islam will help bridge the gulf between Muslims and non-Muslims and create better relations.


Week 1 :
Islam One-O-One:
A brief introduction to the faith, its tenets, and practices .

Week 2:
From Makkah to modern times:
An overview and brief history of Islam.


Week 3:
Islam and Gender: Women in Islam
For 14 centuries the Quran as the guiding book for Muslims, was interpreted solely by men.  Everything was filtered through male intellect - even women's issues.  This has led to western misconceptions about the roles and status of women in Islam. This presentation touches upon the history and background of how Islam gave women rights to inheritance, voting, equal pay and freedom of choice in marriage and divorce, dwelling briefly on the lives of some famous Muslim women whom history has forgotten..


Week 4:
Islam and ‘the other’
Interfaith relations in Islam. As the youngest of the three monotheistic faiths, Islam has a close connection with the faiths that preceded it. Highlighting similarities rather than differences, this presentation shows important connections between Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other faiths of the world. ..


Week 5:
The Spiritual Realm
Introduction to Sufism and a special presentation on female mystics. Possibility of organizing sufi worship in which the audience can participate.


Week 6:
Political Islam
Understanding the difference between Islam and Islamism.  Some reflections on the struggle by moderate Muslims for the soul of Islam.


Week 7:
Proud to be Canadian
Reflections on being a Muslim-Canadian and what it means in reality today – youth presenters if possible.


Week 8:
Place of Tolerance in Islam
Islam is not a monolith. Muslims come from almost 60 different parts of the world, much of this reflected in North American. This presentation will give some insight into the pluralism and diversity within Islam.


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