Learn about Islam

Mr. David Kirkpatrick has reported fairly accurately our discussion regarding his earlier article in The Northern Star about the hysteria that is sweeping the west over a book written by Salman Rushdie that is considered by the more than one billion Muslims worldwide to be blasphemous to their religion and their Prophet.

I have extended an invitation to Mr. Kirkpatrick and am extending the same to anyone who is interested to learn the truth behind the hysteria. We American Muslims are looking for an opportunity to a dialogue with our fellow Americans of all faiths to explain the true Islam and help put an end to the defacing process that Islam has suffered from in the west for so long.

Mr. Kirkpatrick, however, has misquoted me in one place, perhaps since we only met for about 45 minutes and covered a lot in such a short time. He reported that I said, “About 4 percent, the Shiites, are real ‘fanatics.'” This is not what I said. I said, “In Islam there are two sects, Sunni and Shiite. The former is about 96 percent and the latter about 4 percent. Iran has the largest Shiite population and even in Iran a minority of Iranians subscribe to the fanatic antics of Khomeini.”

With this correction, I believe that, at least here in DeKalb, the community is on the right track to truly mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.

Once again I repeat my invitation to anyone wanting to learn the truth and find out about Islam from its source and not through stereotyping media that mixes religion and politics in a country that is based upon the separation of the two.

Ibrahim A. Ahmad

professor and director

Division of Statistics