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Understanding Islam at Hilfield.

FrancisSultan
The present crisis in Syria and Iraq, and anxieties about international terrorism, are heightening fear and prejudice in our own western culture about Muslims and the religion of Islam to which the terms violence and extremism are often attached. If we are to live peaceably and justly in the multi-cultural society that we find ourselves today it is important to have a broader view of the religion of Islam than that of the violence and brutality of the forces of the so-called Islamic State. Fear and hatred between people of different religions and cultures comes about as a result of ignorance or partial understanding of what the religions and cultures are about; it is easy to portray or fit ‘the other’ into one’s misunderstanding and so reinforce the fears – at this time, particularly, of Muslims.

Chris HewerDr Chris Hewer, who led a course at the Friary in October entitled ‘Understanding Islam’, is a Christian theologian who has thirty years of experience studying Islam and engaging with Muslims. While remaining firmly rooted in his own tradition, Chris gives a knowledgeable and sympathetic introduction to the subject, explaining the history of Islam, the place of the prophet Mohammed and of the Koran, and of the world views and ways of life of Muslims today. The 3 day course at Hilfield was attended by people from different parts of the UK, including some Muslims from Dorset. Wisdom was shared, mutual respect was established and friendships were made. All religions are definitely not the same but we can live peaceably and hospitably with each other through understanding and humility before each other and under God.