Forum Helps the Curious Understand Islam

By Grusich, Kate | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 19, 2001 | Go to article overview

Forum Helps the Curious Understand Islam


Grusich, Kate, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kate Grusich Daily Herald Staff Writer

More than a month after the terrorist attacks, interest in Islamic beliefs is booming as many Americans try to decipher the faith.

In an attempt to enlighten Lake County residents, the Evangelical Free Church of Wauconda sponsored a dual-perspective forum Thursday night to give listeners some understanding of Islam and the religion's beliefs about war.

The forum, which included a question-and-answer session, was led by Roy Oksnevad and Sam Shamoun.

Oksnevad is an associate at the Center for Islamic Studies at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton. He gave the audience of about 30 people a brief overview of the religion and the role of the prophet Muhammad.

"If we think of Islam as a religion, like we think of Judaism as a religion or Christianity as a religion, we are mistaken," he said. "It is also a culture and a political system. They are all intertwined."

Shamoun spoke about the similarities among Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but then also spoke of the many differences.

"They do not believe Jesus is the divine son of God," Shamoun said. "This entails denial of the trinity. They do not believe Christ was crucified or killed."

Shamoun was born a Christian in Kuwait and later converted to Islam. Eventually, he returned to Christianity, citing discrepancies in Islam's holy book, the Quran, which he said has been changed by Muslim scholars. …

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