March 28, 2017
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, Islam will overtake Christianity as the largest religion in the world by the end of the 21st Century. University of New England Vice President for Global Affairs and Communications Anouar Majid, Ph.D., provided expertise on the subject in an interview with Aleteia, an international online Christian publication.
The article addresses the tension that has resulted from growing Muslim populations, particularly in Europe and the United States. Majid, who authored the book, Islam and America: Building a Future Without Prejudice, said that abstract Islam and Western values are naturally at odds with one another.
“In Islam, the notion of secularism and democracy are disturbing,” he said. “In addition, pious Muslims stay away from many Western dietary norms and aspects of social life. Many of these are kind of frowned upon, in fact damned, at least theoretically, by Islamic doctrines and Islamic thinking. So when these Muslims come into these societies, they experience a kind of dislocation, a trauma, because now they’re forced to negotiate, they have to acclimate to a system that, according to their preachers, negates their belief system, or clashes with their ethics. All kinds of violence erupts at times, and that is a problem. The challenge is how do you take a population that has been educated to believe in a certain way of life, a certain way of being, and integrate it into a world, a society that sees culture and politics through very different lenses.”
University of Notre Dame Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds, Ph.D., is also quoted in the article. He had previously written about the number of Muslims in the U.S. who had cinverted to the religion from Christianity. “While some Christians convert to Islam for the sake of marriage (according to Islamic law a Christian man may not marry a Muslim woman), many Christians convert to Islam after Muslims invite them to do so. Muslims have a remarkable zeal for proselytism or “da’wah” (the Arabic term commonly used by Muslims now in English). Most American mosques welcome visitors regularly and pass out literature, or tracts, to them written specifically for Christian audiences (literature which often emphasizes that Islam has a high regard for Jesus as a prophet).”
Reynolds will give a lecture at UNE’s Tangier Global Forum titled, “The Quran’s Conversation with the Bible,” on April 20, 2017.
To learn more about the Tangier Global Forum, visit www.une.edu/tgf
To learn more about UNE’s Global Education programs, visit www.une.edu/global/ed
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