Arguing that the Western and the Muslim worlds must communicate in order to improve the international community, Wayne State University Islamic studies Prof. Munir Fareed suggested the United States assist the Muslim world, specifically Afghanistan, in improving its economy.

Paul Wong
Wayne State University Prof. Muneer Fareed spoke last night as the final guest in a week of activities in honor of Islam Awareness Week.<br><br>JOHN PRATT/Daily

Fareed lectured to a group of more than 70 people last night at Hutchins Hall in the Law School on the topic, “Islam and the Western World: A Clash of Civilizations?”

“There is a potential to do business or sell goods wherever you find people,” Fareed said. “It would be advantageous to both the West and the Muslim World if Muslim nations were both producers and consumers.

“Right now, Muslim nations are only consumers, but if they were to become producers as well, they could contribute to the international economy. That would benefit not only the United States and the Muslim world, but all nations.”

Many students and community members attended the lecture, hoping to participate in discussions on the Muslim world.

“I attended a lecture by Dr. Sherman Jackson at St. Mary”s Student Parish and it really piqued my interest in Islam,” said Thuy-Tram Nguyen, the director of sales at Candlewood Suites in Ann Arbor. “I attended Dr. Fareed”s lecture to learn more about Islam. It”s a fascinating religion and an interesting lifestyle.”

Vinay D”Souza, an LSA senior, attended the lecture to learn more how Islam fits into the larger international community.

“I attended to learn more about the Muslim way of life,” said D”Souza. “I have heard a lot in the news recently about Islam and I wanted to learn about it from an Islamic scholar. I was interested to hear how Dr. Fareed would respond to questions about the current international situation.”

Somia Ahmad, a first-year Dentistry student, has attended all of the lectures sponsored by the Muslim Student Association this year.

“I”ve been coming to all the lectures to gain insight and to participate in dialogue about Islam and the current situation,” said Ahmad. “Now more than ever, it is important to teach people about both the differences and the similarities between the Muslim world and the United States.”

Sana Ashcraf, an LSA junior, identifies with both Islam and the Western world.

“I am a Muslim and I am an American. It”s very difficult to know which way to think,” said Ashcraf. “I have lived here all my life and I want what is best for the United States. I can”t relate when Muslims terrorize they use religion as a scapegoat for hate crimes.”

Fatima Aziz, an LSA junior, appreciates the Muslim Student Association”s efforts during this year”s Islam Awareness Week.

“I think this year”s Islam Awareness Week helped to improve non-Muslims understanding of Islam,” said Aziz. “I feel that Muslims and non-Muslims alike are reaching out to try to understand each other.”

Omar Razzacki, a member of the Muslim Student Association, spoke with interested students about the teachings of Islam this week.

“We set up booths on the Diag and in the Union so we could talk about Islam with Muslim and non-Muslim students,” said Razzacki, an LSA junior. “Many students have questions about Islam, we provided an outlet for answers.”

Kenan Basha, vice president of the Muslim Student Association, considers Islam Awareness Week to be a positive catalyst for student discussion.

“I definitely think this week improved non-Muslims understanding of Islam because people were able to discuss Islam face to face,” said Basha, a Business junior.

“Face-to-face interaction helps to break down stereotypes. Students can see that their Muslim friends are really no different from their Jewish or Christian friends and that is really important in today”s world.”

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