Arts & Culture

Muslim Leaders Want Houston Residents To Know Why ISIS Is Not Islamic

The event will feature a Q-and-A session and a panel discussion between Islamic scholars from around the country.

photo of building River Oaks Islamic Center
ISGH River Oaks Islamic Center

Muslim leaders in Houston want the community to know that ISIS does not represent Islam. They’re hosting an interfaith dialogue this weekend to give people of all faiths a chance to ask questions and learn about the true teachings of Islam. 

Tara Zaafran is with the Risala Foundation, one of the groups which helped organize the event. She says she’s expecting a lot of questions about the spread of ISIS and what can be done to stop radicalization in the U.S.

“We want to refute any ideology that might be going on that this is Islamic, and at the same time, show the non-Muslims as well that this is not the ideology that we follow,” Zaafran says.

The event will feature a Q-and-A session and a panel discussion between Islamic scholars from around the country. One of them is Mahmoud El-Gamal, chair of Islamic Economics, Finance and Management at Rice University.

El-Gamal hopes having these conversations will help clear up misconceptions about Islam.

“We’re not going to know each other unless we talk to each other, unless ask these tough questions and get the answers and get to know how the other people really think instead of making assumptions that may be flawed,” El-Gamal says.

The event runs through Saturday at the River Oaks Islamic Center. A live stream of the panel discussion will also be available.

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Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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