By Adil James, MMNS
Bloomfield Hills-November 30-Speak to people on the level they understand. This seems to have been the theme that underlay an engaging speech given by Michigan State University sophomore Tammam Alwani to a packed room of about 50 students and parents at the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center this past Friday evening.
Mr. Alwan covered several points very well, emphasizing that speaking about Islam with non-Muslims is a necessity–â€We must speak to them to survive.â€
He challenged points which are essential, namely that in speaking with others we should not take an absolutist position, instead respecting the necessary differences of outlook that exist even within the Muslim community. He explained that Muslims should not use Qur`an as proof in speaking with non-Muslims, since those non-Muslims obviously do not accept Qur`an so will not believe arguments based on it. He emphasized the importance of neither fearing exposure to non-Muslims nor completely abandoning our way in favor of their way–instead we should engage with non-Muslims with wisdom.
The young people started out very engaged in his speech, speaking frankly with him and listening closely. After the early part of the meeting, adults peppered Mr. Alwan with questions and reactions and the children faded to silence.
Speaking of the reason for the meeting, Dr. Muhammad Kashlan, the President of the Unity Center, explained that â€œWe want to develop youth leadership in the center–we want to prepare good leadersâ€ to take over for us after we are gone.