by Mohsin Jhankhwala
This year EvCC’s Humanities Center is organizing a series of Islam-related programs titled “Islam in America.”
In the past four years, the humanities center has organized a series of programs, namely about memories, happiness, dreams and inquiries. But this year the main focus is on Islam in America.
“Our centric idea is to educate the people and to educate ourselves about Islam as we are underinformed, ” said, Joyce S. Walker, the humanities center coordinator at EvCC.
Walker also said the Muslim students’ panel discussion is also in the works. It will take place probably in the next fall quarter. And are also planning many other cultural events as well.
During the spring quarter, four Islam-related events were held at the EvCC campus, including “Religious conflict in America,” “Arabic music,” “Iranian music” and “Middle Eastern Cuisine” in which students shared their favorite dishes.
The next event is “Overcoming Hurdles to Understanding Islam” by Raymond Ibrahim. This event might generate controversy on campus like the panel discussion of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last January.
One Muslim students at EvCC who wanted to be anonymity said, “This is extremely distracting and unfair as his information would not consist entirely and accurately of historical facts. As the subtitle of his website states his information is clearly biased as he is against Islam and his negative and biased outlook on religion.
How come a person who is against Islam gives a speech on Islam? Remember, you cannot expect free democracy from a dictator rule. Nonetheless, I do respect him and his ideas and will attend his lecture.”
On the other hand, executive director of WA-CAIR, Arsalan Bukhari, said on the phone that “Obviously, it’s not okay to say that Ibrahim’s program is a free speech because EvCC provides platform to him and also promotes the event.”
According to Humanities Center’s website their mission is to foster the humanities at the campus in a variety of ways, such as facilitating campus- and community-wide discussions of relevant themes from a humanities perspective and to invite artists, writers, filmmakers, historians, philosophers and musicians to convey not only the truths about their cultures, but the conflicts as well.
A detailed list of the events can be seen on the Humanities Center page of the EvCC website.