During late April and early May, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Christ Episcopal Church, and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Indiana will cooperate to present a series of talks entitled “Understanding our Muslim Neighbors”. These talks are open to all members of the community.
The goal of this collaboration is to provide a welcoming space for community members to gather to learn about Islam and Muslims in the United States as well as to provide a friendly space for people to get answers to any questions they have about Islam or Muslims.
The talks will be presented by Dr. Michelle Sandhoff, an assistant professor of Sociology at IUP. Dr. Sandhoff has studied the experiences of Muslims in the U.S. for several years, has written a book about Muslim Americans serving in the U.S. military, and is one of the faculty advisors for the Muslim Student Association on campus.
The series will consist of three talks, each at a different time in hopes of accommodating a wide variety of schedules. Each talk is stand-alone. Community members are encouraged to come to one, two, or all three of the talks.
Islam 101 (Thursday, April 27 at 11am at Christ Episcopal Church, 902 Philadelphia St). The opening talk of the series will cover the basics of Islam. This talk will address basic beliefs and common religious practices such as prayer, fasting, and clothing choice. This talk will contextualize Islamic beliefs and practices by explaining similarities and differences with Christian beliefs and practices. This talk will also include an interactive display with religious items commonly used by Muslims.
Muslim Contributions to U.S. Society (Sunday, May 7 at 1pm at First UU, 285 Twolick Dr). From the Constitution to Hip Hop, American culture has been shaped by Muslim influences. Come learn about the history of Muslims in the U.S., how Islam is practiced here, and some of the ways American Muslims have contributed to U.S. society. In addition to covering some of the history of Muslims in the U.S., this talk will also discuss contemporary Muslim American figures in the realms of politics, the military, and sport.
Three Women from the Qur’an (Tuesday, May 9 at 7pm at Calvary Presbyterian, 695 School St). The final talk of the series will share the stories of three prominent women in Islamic thought: Eve, Hagar, and Mary. This talk will draw comparisons between Judeo-Christian and Islamic tellings of the stories of these women. This talk will focus on what these women mean to Muslims today and the importance of reclaiming women’s stories and voices across the Abrahamic religions.