BY CHRIS TAKAHASHI | STAFF WRITER
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Dr. Abdul-Karim Khan, professor of history at Leeward Community College, gave a presentation in the Lama Library alcove on diversity in Islam.
“These days, it [Islamic diversity] sounds like an oxymoron. Unfortunately, diversity is taken as division in Islam,” said Khan, who was born into a Muslim family in Peshawar, Pakistan, as he opened his hour-long talk.
Khan interpreted seminal verses from the Quran (sometimes spelled Koran) and provided extensive background knowledge on the breadth of the religion across the globe. His stated goal was to provide “evidence for diversity” and to allow the audience to be the judge.
After the presentation, Khan fielded questions from the audience. Two of the questions were specific to Islamic radicalism in the Middle East.
Khan responded that he viewed ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban as “religious gangsters,” with their interpretation of Islam an “aberration” of the religion. The mosques where these young men and women are radicalized are “special mosques,” said Khan.
At the end of his presentation, Khan summed up a religious principle that Islam shares with many other world religions: the golden rule. In Islam, the phrase is translated as “none of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
Khan’s presentation was the concluding event for KCC’s Diversity month. This year, the focus was “Religion in Hawaiʻi” and featured presentations from experts on world religions such as Buddhism, Judaism, Mormonism, and Islam.
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