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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ramadan Celebration Comes to UMB

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Islam means peace,” said speaker Shai’kah Khondokar Golam last Thursday, November 13 at the breaking of the fast for Muslims celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. During this month on the lunar calendar, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. The fasting includes refraining from eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse during that time.

UMB’s Muslim Student Association celebrated the traditional breaking of the fast with guest speaker Golam and Imam Abdul Farooq. The speakers were followed by a fine, exotic dinner of Arabic and Middle Eastern food in the Ryan lounge.

Usman Pervez, secretary for the MSA, began the event by asking the audience to remain silent while reciting a few verses from the Holy Koran. After reciting the prayer, Perez introduced Golam, one of the most renowned religious scholars of Bangladesh this decade.

As the remainder of the day’s sunlight spilled through the window of the Ryan Lounge, Golam enlightened the audience about Islam as a religion. He pointed out that Christians are very close to Muslims. “Jesus prayed the way we pray. We are God Almighty’s creation,” he explained. “Muhammed is the greatest man who ever lived. He saved the Arab nation,” he continued.

Golam also described Muhammed as a great political leader. According to his book Immortal Sayings of the Prophet Muhammed, the prophet was deeply distressed by the corrupt society of Arab world since his childhood. As a result, Muhammed brought about a revolution in all areas of human conduct. The corrupt and weak Arabs were transformed into an honorable, successful and strong people when they became Muslims.

In an attempt to refute the negative stereotypes sometimes given to Muslims Golam said, “A Muslim cannot kill anyone! We are the most sober people on earth! We are the most hospitable people on earth!”

Nearing the end of Golam’s speech he offered two books to the audience, The Message of Islam and Immortal Sayings of the Prophet Muhammed. “They are strictly free!” he exclaimed.

Imam Abdul Farooq spoke a few words to the audience before breaking the fast. He encouraged the audience members, who were spread far apart from each other, to sit closer together in order to “form more community.”

He then asked how many people believed in God. About 95% of the audience raised their hands. Farooq, an African-American male raised on the teachings of Christianity, asked rhetorically why an African-American would choose Islam over Christianity and explained, “What color you are doesn’t get you into paradise.”

Farooq also said that what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan is ungodly. “George Bush isn’t preaching Christianity, nor is Saddam Hussein preaching Islam. Islam teaches contrary to this,” he said, adding, “America is full of hypocrisy.”

Farooq engaged in prayer as date nuts were passed around to everyone sitting at the tables before breaking the fast. After the speakers, students enjoyed the dinner of hummus, pita, falafel, and curry chicken.

This event was made possible by the MSA, Student Life and the Student Senate.