Today, we toured a 2000 sqft facility filled with information about the Muslim world. Each room was impressively arranged like a museum with authentic clothing, photography, and artifacts.
The Center for Christian Understanding of Islam is a place where "Christians can learn about Islam and grow in their own faith." They are a resource rich with firsthand experience and knowledge about tradition, history, and customs.
After our tour, the founder of CCUI took us to a local mosque. The Imam gave us permission to look around. After taking off our shoes, we entered the room where their prayer services are held and learned more about the traditions.
CCUI is a free resource for learning about Islam. They give tours to individuals and groups, and offer a variety of discussion groups and classes.
Do you have friends or family members who are Muslim? Have you ever been to a mosque?
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Did the museum use elements of the Old and New Testaments to explain how Islam is said to be related to them? Was there any discussion of the difference between the "People of the Book" and other non-Muslims?
They did have an exhibit similar to a family tree that showed the split between Judaism and Islam.
Since we had the kids with us, we did a more condensed version of the tour. I think the executive director could have talked to us for a couple days straight if we had the time.
I haven't been to a mosque nor do I know anyone who is Muslim. I am active in my religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ... Mormon) but I enjoy learning about other religions. I have a good friend I met through the blogging world and she's Jewish. I love learning more about her faith through her life and words.
My husband grew up in Saudi Arabia (you can read about our trip back there here: http://www.welcometomarriedlife.com/search/label/Saudi%20Arabia )
but before I met him I really didn't know any Muslims. I had a pretty negative view of them, especially after 9/11.
He has challenged me a lot because he grew up with them and his family has many relationships with Muslims.
I still don't agree with their religion and we have some major debates over issues, but I realize that most of them are just people trying to live their best life like we are, but they happened to be born into a different religion/culture (because it is very much more a cultural thing too).
I have never been to a mosque and don't have any friends or family who are Muslim.
I am always interested in learning about other religions, though, especially the history behind their theology.
What a great organization! I heard a sermon recently about how in X years various countries and/or continents around the world will be primarily populated by people following Islam. It was sobering and challenging!
Good to see this initiative in Virginia.