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Cambridge University Advancing Islamic Awareness Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Omar S. Roomi, United Kingdom Feb 22, 2004
Citizen Journalism   Interviews


Day One allowed non-Muslims watch as nearly 100 faithful braved the cold winter temperatures and the damp grass, to pray bare foot on the lawn in front of King’s College Chapel. The scene echoed the poetry of 19th Century Urdu poet, Sir Mohammed Iqbal who described the Islamic foundation on equality in ‘Shikwa’ (complaint); “Mahmood and Ayaz, the prince and the pauper stood in a saff (row) in front of Allah - no prejudice between rich and poor or black and white”. Miss. Hakeem, who had obtained special permission to use the college grounds that is rarely given, was extremely grateful to King’s for allowing this extraordinary event. Asked whether she found Cambridge a tolerant place to practice her faith she replied “No, Cambridge doesn’t just tolerate difference, it fully accepts it and even accommodates it. The university provides a special room where we can pray and break our fast at Ramadan.”

Chris Trundel, a student at Cambridge who watched the sunset prayer regarded the Arabic recitation as “mesmerizing” and different to what he normally hears in a chapel. He appreciated that there would be mixed reactions to the event but he still thought it was a “good thing.”
In the light of the success in advancing Islam, thanks to a creative management team who organized everything from marketing to food, coordinators are already considering suggestions for 2005. The event having just finished, Nabiel Ishaque also involved in planning stated that there are no concrete plans yet. “We may make more of an effort to address current issues, and problems, for instance globalization, racism and sexuality in the light of Islamic teaching.” Lectures also underscored the collective obligation of Muslims to show respect and tolerance towards those whom they live with, to dispel myths that Islam is an abusive religion that is maligned with human principles.

The Cambridge Islam Awareness Week will reflect well on the University management who frequently come under fire for their failure to promote diversity.

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Sandi Rankaduwa | Aug 21st, 2006
I think this is a wonderful idea; the all-too-common misconceptions concerning Islam must be addressed, and initiatives like this can truly promote acceptance of cross-cultural differences.

Patricia Sudi | Mar 7th, 2007
I think its great.Most people associate the muslim faith with apart from marginalizing the women and girls,terrorists tendencies.We should have more and more of such teachings on the muslim faith to help the world understand what it entails.

Kirsten Jordan | Mar 25th, 2007
What a great idea! I have been fortunate to grow up in environments that have promoted understanding of what Islam entails (Turkey and UAE). But for many they do have a clue what Islam really is and just associate it as a fanatic and terrorist-driven religion which is completely untrue and unjust. Unfortunately, media focuses on the negative and not on the good of what the Muslim world accomplishes. People are aware of the terrorism associated with Islam, but not of the kindness of this religion. By creating cross-cultural awareness it is helping to eradicate ignorance.

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