Event aimed to increase awareness, understanding

The Islamic Education Center of Houston, a mosque in west Houston, will
host a special program in conjunction with an open house to increase
awareness of the Islamic perspective on Jesus and Mary.

Three speakers will cover an array of topics that include what Islam
teaches about the birth of Jesus, the Islamic perspective of Mary, the
miracles of Jesus and the coming of Jesus. Following the talks, there will
be a question and answer session and refreshments.

The main purpose of the seminar, said one of the organizers, Ali Rizvi, is
to increase awareness of the mosque and the teachings of Islam among

“It is something we decided to do this year because we felt that people
have a great deal of misconceptions about Islam,” Rizvi said.

Fatima Sabour, also an organizer, converted to Islam and is a teacher at
the mosque’s school. Sabour said it was important for them as a community
to open their doors and communicate with other groups and individuals about
their teachings.

“The stakes are higher now,” Sabour said. “Since 9/11 occurred, we realized
we don’t know our neighbors, and they don’t know us.”

Sabour said they want others to understand that what Muslims believe is not
that different from what Christians believe. However, in Islam, Jesus is
regarded as a highly respected prophet and messenger of divine revelations,
and not the son of God, as in Christian teachings.

“We believe that the birth of Jesus is a miraculous event,” Sabour said.
“We endorse the miracles performed by Jesus. We believe in the return of
Jesus Christ. We refer to Jesus as the Messiah. We acknowledge that Mary is
one of the most pious women throughout time and the Virgin birth.”

She said, “We are hoping that people if they want to know about us, then
they should come and get it from the horse’s mouth. Come and ask us”¦”

o What: Jesus in Islam seminar
o Where: 2313 S. Voss
o When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday
o Why: To increase awareness of the Islamic perspective on Jesus and Mary
o Details: The event is free and open to the public. Women are requested to
wear head scarves inside the Islamic center.
o Info: Call 713-787-5000, Ext. 12 or visit www.iec-houston.or


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