Aberdeen students unite for Islam Awareness Week

Aberdeen students unite for Islam Awareness Week

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Monday, February 27, at 12.00pm, King’s Lawn, King’s College, University of Aberdeen

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Monday, February 27, at 12.00pm, King’s Lawn, King’s College, University of Aberdeen

The role of Islam and its wider role in society will be the focus of a week of events being held in Aberdeen next week in a bid to increase the understanding of the religion.

Students from the University of Aberdeen Muslim Students Association and the Robert Gordon University Islamic Society are uniting to host Islam Awareness Week, from Monday, February 27, to Sunday, March 5, 2006.

The week-long programme of events includes documentaries, activities and discussions about Islam with the aim of informing the public about the religion to try to increase tolerance and understanding.

Some of the highlights of the week include former journalist Yvonne Ridley, who converted to Islam after being captured by the Taliban. Ridley will deliver a lecture on her time in captivity through to her transition to Islam. Working as a reporter for the Sunday Express in September 2001, Ridley was smuggled from Pakistan across the Afghan border. But her cover was blown when she fell off her donkey in front of a Taliban soldier near Jalalabad, revealing a banned camera underneath her robes. Ridley was interrogated for 10 days without being allowed a phone call.

Once she was back in the UK, Ridley turned to the Qur’an as part of her attempt to understand her experience. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 1, in the Arts Lecture Theatre, University of Aberdeen, at 6.30pm.

Another key event will be a talk, entitled ‘Islam and Charity, the common link’, by Habib Malik, Scotland manager for Islamic Relief, which will take place on Monday (February 27) from 6pm – 8pm, in Lecture Theatre C47, St Andrews Building, Robert Gordon University.

In light of recent controversy, regarding cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in the Press, the movie ‘The Message’ starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, will be shown in the Belmont Cinema on Sunday, March 5, at 10.00am. This will allow an opportunity to understand the life of the prophet, his values, teachings and why he is so greatly loved and respected by his followers, as well as many non-Muslims. Seating is limited, so early attendance is advised.

The Islam Awareness Week is an initiative of the Aberdeen University Muslim Students’ Association. Vice-President of AUMSA, Sherif Hampton, who previously spent some years with the British Forces, said he was thoroughly looking forward to next week’s events.

He said: “Islam is a religion of peace and tranquillity. What we see in the media today is a number of issues involving Islam, some where the name of Islam has been used, but its teachings clearly not followed, but also confusion as to what our teachings are and why we hold such high reverence to certain beliefs.

“This week is about education and raising awareness of what Islam actually teaches. Most importantly, it will allow the public to ask questions and find answers for themselves.”

The full programme of events can be found below.

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