Peace is a central theme of Islam, according to a visiting professor from St. Mary’s University who spoke at the University of Wisconsin Thursday.

Jamal Badawi, a member of the Islamic Juridical Council of North America, used the Quran to give what Muslim Student Association Vice President Sarrah AbuLughod called a comprehensive and balanced view of modern-day Islam at his presentation.

The event, co-sponsored by the Muslim Students Association and the Middle East Studies Program, focused on myths related to the Muslim religion as well as truths central to the majority of believers.

“Islam is peace through the submission to God and the acceptance of his grace and guidance,” Badawi said, but added some find violence in the religion by interpreting one section of the Quran without paying attention to the context.

“If we use the ‘cut-and-paste’ approach, we can prove anything from anywhere,” Badawi said.

A common misconception is that the term “jihad” translates to “holy war,” but Badawi said jihad actually means exerting maximum effort.

“Every one of you is engaged with jihad, if you know it or not,” Badawi said.

According to Badawi, combative Jihad fighting is only allowed for self-defense to stop oncoming aggression or oppression. If a problem cannot be resolved through peace, Badawi said violence may be used as a last resort only if the intentions behind that combat are pure and not vengeful. (MORE)


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