A talk was conducted by ISoc Warwick just now at Warwick Uni and the topic was 'Who is Muhammad?' I didn't know what to expect from this talk but I still went. The speakers were 2 ladies, Sister Myriam Francois Cerrah and Sister Kristiane Backer and a gentleman, Brother Salim. Brother Hamza Andreas Tzortzis was supposed to come but pulled out last minute due to some personal problems.
Some of the issues that can be highlighted are as such:
a) Sister Myriam talked about rights. Human rights, legal rights and sacred rights. She criticised the current system of the law where human rights are not always right and lack morality. She mentioned human rights are supposed to come with morality values because law and human rights are as good as the people who implement them. Taking the example of Israelites phosphorus bombing in Palestines, she said the action is unjust but nothing has been done in this human made law system.
b) Sister Myriam also said Islam is not only a religion or an ideology for the society. Islam brings about message of self reformation. Islam is about reforming oneself to become breathing and living individuals of Islam. Islam is not about changing societies but about changing oneself first. Islam is about pefecting oneself.
c) Sister Myriam then brought up the issue of slavery saying slavery still exist in our society. The biggest of all is sex-slavery where children are forced to be sex slaves. Some examples and statistics are, a family sells their daughter for $500 and the girl needs to be sex slave to 2000 men before getting her freedom back. The girl is paid 20 cent for every man. Imagine what kind of future does the girl has? Sister Myriam mentioned too that in India (as an example) exists millions of sex slaves.
d) Sister Kristiane talked in regards to environment. She quoted few quotes like 'Muhammad is sent as mercy to mankind'. Muhammad is also considered as role model to millions of people. She mentioned Rasulullah teachings and preachings about green living where we live by respecting the environment (trees, animals etc) All life are sacred, even ants life as in the Quran there is even a surah named 'The Ant'
e) Brother Salim started his speech with an interesting quotation. Ignorance in oneself can lead to fear which will then lead to confusion. What is the cure for ignorance? Knowledge! He mainly talked about living the example of the prophets rather than only talking about it. Brother Salim stressed that Muslims should be the living symbol of justice and rise above name-calling, prosecution and physical punishment towards people who are hateful to us. He quoted Muhammad saw, "He who abuse a non muslim citizen in a muslim country without justification will be my enemy during the day of judgement." Quoting this brother Salim said Muslims should learn to forgive and lead by examples. We must understand that the are people who fear Islam and Muslims because they do not understand Islamic teachings. Brother Salim urged us to understand this people and find ways to help them understand and not hate them for hating us. We should love everyone and show them that we care because that is what Muhammad saw did.
The talk progresses towards Q and A session which will not be explained in details as the session basically covered the topic discussed above.
Event page for the talk can be found here.