Understanding Islam

    01.13.16 | Education by Rob Courtney

    As people called to respect the dignity of every human being by our Baptismal Covenant in The Episcopal Church, it's important for us to look past rhetoric we hear on the news, and to try to better understand our neighbors.

    As part of our weekly Service, Supper, & Substance (#S3atStP), Jan. 13 - Feb. 3 our program will be "Understanding Islam." The headlines today have a lot to say about Islam. How much do we really understand about this, one of the three great Abrahamic faiths? How many of our Muslim neighbors do we actually know? Does what we see on the news tell us the full story about Islam and the Muslim community at home and abroad, or simply create deeper misunderstanding? Join us for conversations about Islam, and with our Muslim neighbors in this four-part series.

    Our topics and guests will include:

    • Jan. 13 - "Basics of Islam" Imam Abdur Bashir and Dr. Anwer Bashi from The Jefferson Muslim Association and Abu Bakr Mosque will help us understand some of the fundamentals of Islamic faith.
    • Jan. 20 - "Middle Eastern Culture, Islam, and the Issue of Terrorism" Forrest Willoz, St. Paul's parishioner, and former legal adviser to senior US military officials in Iraq, will help us discuss some of the dynamics of Middle Eastern culture and religion, foreign policy, and terrorism. We will also be joined by Agents Ron Reed and Robert Saman from local offices of the FBI will help us understand how they support and are supported by the local Muslim community. 
    • Jan. 27 - "Stories of Faith" Dr. Isfana Ali, child psychiatrist, 30-year resident of New Orleans, and devout Muslim, will share her personal faith story, and discuss her reaction to recently negative political and cultural perspectives on Islam.
    • Feb. 3 - "Interfaith Dialogue and the Problem of Religious Violence" Fr. Rob Courtney will discuss how Christianity has traditionally related to other religions, and how Jesus invites us to live with people of other faiths today.

     We hope you will join us as we strive learn more about our neighbors and how we can support them. If you have questions contract the Rev. Rob Courtney at