Just as Christians fast and make sacrifices during Lent, Muslims sacrifice during the month of Ramadan that leads to the feast called Eid Al-Fitr , on July 28. Islam, derived from the Arabic word salam, which means peace, is one of the fastest growing religions in the U.S., and probably one of the most misunderstood.
Former boxing great Mohamed Ali and Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison are some of the people we know who adhere to the Muslim faith, but some people would be surprised to know that TV talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz, former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, and comedian Dave Chappelle also practice Islam.
While most believe that religion is a very personal thing, it is a right granted to the United States based on the First Amendment to the Constitution. As founding father Thomas Jefferson has so eloquently stated:
“Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions in matters of Religion.”
What does it mean to be a Muslim in America in the 21st century? What are the core beliefs of the faith? How different or how similar are Muslims to Christians and to Jews? What is Jihad, Sunni and Shiite? What do we really know about Muslims, and what do we assume to know based on misinformation and media bias?
Join us Monday morning when TruthToTell co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Ahmed Al-Beheary discuss the meaning of Ramadan and the rise of Islam with Kim Olstad of the Minnesota Council of Churches, Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota, Kaethe Eltawely, an American who converted to Islam, and Islamic educator Sheik Joussef Soussi.