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New insight to Islam views
100412-F-0979L-002 GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Dr. Nabeel Jabbour speaks on Islam at the Base Theater April 12, 2010. Dr. Jabbour, an author, lecturer, and expert on Muslim culture is the first in a series of planned lecturers by the 217th Training Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Clayton Lenhardt)
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Speaker brings new insight to Islam views

Posted 4/16/2010   Updated 5/28/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Connie Hempel
17th Training Wing Public Affairs


4/16/2010 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Islam. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Was it terrorism? Many people who hear Islam easily associate it with terrorists, but Islam does not mean terrorist. Distinguishing the different types of Muslims and understanding their different world views, is what one Islam expert set out to do during his seminars at the theater, April 12-13.

Hosted by the 217th Training Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jim Marrs, said he selected Dr. Nabell Jabbour to speak to base members because the doctor brings a new level of insight to Islam. The colonel and doctor have known each other for more than six years and admittedly haven't always seen eye-to-eye, but Colonel Marrs said that throughout the years, he had come to appreciate Dr. Jabbour's honesty.

"The time he spent living and learning among the different groups of Muslims allows him to bring us a first-hand view of the different perspectives," the colonel said.

By demonstrating fictional characters, Dr. Jabbour was able to show the audience the different world views of Muslims.

"We need to wear their sunglasses and see the world through their eyes," Dr. Jabbour said. "It's more effective (with a militant) to kill his ideas than to kill him. Killing him may solve the problem temporarily, but someone else will fill his shoes and may be more extreme just to prove himself."

One attendee, who wished to remain anonymous, said Dr. Jabbour's fictional characters of a radical Muslim and a moderate Muslim made the different perspectives very human and provided a clear viewpoint of the different mind-sets. By role-playing and stating the ideologies of each character, he showed the audience not only the different positions of the two, but also why it's important to build an understanding between them.

"A moderate Muslim may have some points that Christians agree on. We can take these points to build the foundations for bridges and friendships instead of having an argumentative and debating attitude," Dr. Jabbour said. He also stressed that developing an understanding between the Western and Muslim worlds can help shift the focus away from conflict.

Dr. Jabbour holds a doctorate's in Islamics, has authored six books and teaches in different seminaries in the U.S. and Canada. He said it was his honor and a privilege to provide base members an insight to the Muslim world. He believes building this understanding is crucial.

There are a few copies of Dr. Jabbour's book, "The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross," available. For more information contact Jim.Marrs@Goodfellow.af.mil.



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