HAT Forum Sat. Oct 16 11am-12pm OISE, "Questioning Islam"

Date: October 16 11am-12pm
Location: OISE, 252 Bloor Street W, ROOM 7-192
Facilitator: Jody Perrin
Topic: Questioning Islam....

Islam is the dominant worldview of about 1.5 billion fellow citizens of our world. It guides the policies and laws of dozens of countries from the Straits of Gibraltar to the tip of Australia and from central Africa to the southern edges of Russia. And through immigration and conversion it is one of the fastest growing faiths in Europe and North America.

1) As a humanist, what is my response to this growing religious/political phemomenon?
2) What do I know about Islam and how did I learn this knowledge?
3) What would I like to know about Islam and how could I acquire reliable information?
4) How useful are terms like "Islamophobia" or "Islamofascism" in our conversation?
5) A personal question that has repeatedly haunted Jodi over the past 2 weeks is:

If Islam is, as many allege, a violent creed spread by sword and blood, why is it that after over 1000 years of Muslim rule in the Middle East, 6 million Coptic Christians reside in Egypt and hundreds of thousands of Christians of Maronite, Syriac, Chaldean and Armenian Churches reside in other Arabic countries.(These churches can trace their heritage to the earliest centuries before the Bishop of Rome asserted his authority in the West!) Europe's last Muslim populations were expelled or massacred in 1492. Refugees from this "Reconquista", both Muslim and Jewish were welcomed in the Muslim ruled lands now called Egypt and Turkey.