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Jihad and human rights
Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, Americans have strived to put together some understanding of why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. While doing this some Americans have developed stereotypes and wrong ways of thinking about Islam. On Tuesday, Wood’s House hosted a Philosophy Tea entitled, "Jihad and Human Rights" held by senior
Sunday, May 20,2007 00:00
by Jennifer Yeske, The Tack

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, Americans have strived to put together some understanding of why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

While doing this some Americans have developed stereotypes and wrong ways of thinking about Islam.

On Tuesday, Wood’s House hosted a Philosophy Tea entitled, "Jihad and Human Rights" held by senior Amy Servantez and junior Courtney McGarry. Their goal was to clarify any misconceptions that people had about the Islam religion.

"What we really wanted people to get out of our Philosophy Tea was that Islam is not a violent religion. There is nothing in the Qur’an that violates human rights. It is the interpretation and the governments that use Islam as a blanket to cover their crimes and violations," Servantez said.

Servantez and McGarry opened their discussion by first talking about human rights.

After discussion by students and faculty, they brought up the Jihad. McGarry wanted to get people to understand the real meaning of Jihad that has recently been misunderstood.

"I chose to add Jihad to the philosophy tea because it is such a controversial topic after 9/11. It’s misconceptions that give Muslims around the world bad stereotypes and I wanted to try and fight those stereotypes," McGarry said.

This philosophy tea was based on a class that has spent the year studying the Islam religion, taught by Dr. Swasti Bhattacharyya, assistant professor of religion. Junior Autumn Golonka, another member of the class, felt she really benefited from the Philosophy Tea.

"I thought it was a good chance for people to hear a different perspective about Jihad and human rights. Until I took the Islam class, I thought Jihad meant war; but as outlined so eloquently by Courtney and Amy; it was shown to mean personal struggle. I was happy by the turn out and hope more people take the opportunity to educate themselves about Islamic traditions and rituals," Golonka said.

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