Islam and the West: A new beginning in bridge building

Srinagar: An extension lecture on “Islam and the West: A New Beginning in Bridge Building” was organised by Shah-e Hamdan Institute of Islamic Studies, Kashmir University, on 5 May. The speaker was the renowned, socially engaged scholar and academic Dr Idrisa Pandit, professor at the University of Waterloo. She shared her personal experiences of living as a Muslim in West and the misperceptions about Islam prevalent among non-Muslims. She talked about hate being perpetuated against Muslims in the West by ill-conceived and ill-founded myths about Islam and Muslims, which is also making Muslims become more identity-conscious and stuck to their apparent identities of Muslim culture. Pandit spoke about many Christian and Jewish groups which stood by Muslims against the rising Islamophobia. She acknowledged that Muslims too are responsible for this image of Islam as they are not ready to tolerate the differences even among themselves. She emphasised the need for intra-faith dialogue.  She further deliberated on the intra- and inter-faith initiatives she is engaged in. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session. Prof Hamid Naseem Rafiabadi, director of the Institute, emphasised the need for holding more lectures.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2011 on page no. 22

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