Islam Talk Concludes KCC’s Diversity Month

Islam Talk Concludes KCC’s Diversity Month
Dr. Khan makes a joke about the identity confusion of a child holding an "I am sushi" sign with her Sunni and Shia parents. (Photo by Chris Takahashi)
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.  

To read all of Chris’ stories, click here. Chris can be reached at cbt79@hawaii.edu.

About The Author

Chris Takahashi

Chris is a pre-nursing student and originally hails from Los Angeles, California. Though not native to the islands, he has strong local roots; his grandfather grew up on a sugar plantation on Kaua‘i and most of his extended family lives in Honolulu. When not cramming for an exam in the library you’ll find Chris surfing many of the fantastic waves O‘ahu has to offer. Chris can be reached at cbt79@hawaii.edu.

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