Lecture promotes awareness

Sheikh Yusif Estes lectured on campus yesterday on Islamic tolerance. The lecture was geared to raise understanding and awareness of the Islamic religion.

Sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, the lecture was held in an attempt to educate students and the public at the University.

The organization hopes Estes was able to aid them in correcting any misconceptions and stereotypes that people may hear about Islam.

Nationally known through various lectures and presentations he has given around the world, Estes is originally from Cleveland and was born into a Protestant family.

In 1988 he was a Christian minister and federal prison chaplain.He decided to convert to Islam in 1991, after talking to a priest and an Egyptian Muslim.

Estes gave three lectures throughout the day. Students had the option of attending a session at 11:30 a.m., 3 p.m. at the Union or a 7:30 p.m. session held in Olscamp Hall.

A variety of students, professors, and members of the community from different religious backgrounds attended the sessions.

The lecture began with a story about a young boy badly beaten in California based on the fact that he is Muslim. By presenting information on the subject, it is hoped that events like this will cease.

A variety of topics were addressed, offering insight into the religion and the beliefs of its followers.

Estes stressed that Islam is a peaceful religion, which has a long list of rights given to every thing from humans to animals to plants.

“What caught my eye, when deciding to follow Islam, was a brochure that talked about human rights,” said Estes.

The list even requires Muslims to give rights to enemies.

“The most impressive right is that given to an enemy when captured,” Estes said. “They can not be starved tortured, ridiculed or oppressed.”

Estes went on to say that Islam does not tolerate terrorism and has been fighting against this form of violence for hundreds of years.

Students reacted positively to the information discussed.

“The lecture was very interesting and was presented in a light-hearted way as to not offend anyone attending,” Nora Solomon, freshman, said.

“I enjoyed listening to Estes and I believe many people will benefit from coming,” Mariam Seleh, senior, said. “It is good for Muslims and non-Muslims to come together, especially considering the recent [negative] media.”

For additional information on the message of Islam and Sheikh Yusif Estes visit www.todayislam.com.

Yesterday’s lectures were also broadcast live over www.islamtomorrow.com.