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LA Book Fest: Demand for Islamic Info Increases 80%


04 26 12

 

 

 
LOS ANGELES, California (April 26, 2012) – “We were attracted to this booth and, as I was always curious about the Quran, this gave me a chance to embrace Islam,” says Joseph, one of the six people who embraced Islam at the 17th Annual LA Times Festival of Books this past weekend. The festival at the University of Southern California was a two-day event celebrating writing and literature.
 

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was started in 1996 and has since become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting 140,000 people annually.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was started in 1996 and has since become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting 140,000 people annually.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was started in 1996 and has since become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting 140,000 people annually.

Nestled among the hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, the WhyIslam booth at the festival distributed free literature and translated copies of the Qur’an. A project of Islamic Circle of North America, WhyIslam is dedicated to helping people learn about the Muslim faith. The organization works to clear misconceptions about Islam through booths at fairs like the one held this past weekend, and through the printing and distribution of literature on Islamic topics.
"I think one of this year's highlight was the appealing and trendy booth design and presentation" said Ali Hussain, one of the two booth managers.

"I think one of this year's highlight was the appealing and trendy booth design and presentation" said Ali Hussain, one of the two booth managers.



This year, WhyIslam handed out 4,182 copies of the Qur’an in English and Spanish, and more than 8,000 pamphlets at the festival, an 80% increase since last year, making it the largest Muslim outreach booth in America. This is the 8th consecutive year that the WhyIslam team participated in the event.
“The volunteers at the booth conducted themselves professionally and listened patiently to the questions and concerns from the visitors. It was a very cordial and educational interaction.” said Albert Tampi, Event Coordinator.

“The volunteers at the booth conducted themselves professionally and listened patiently to the questions and concerns from the visitors. It was a very cordial and educational interaction.” said Albert Tampi, Event Coordinator.



Over the course of the weekend, volunteers answered questions posed by booth visitors and happily gave pamphlets and booklets to those interested in learning more. The group distributed free translations of the Qur’an along with other informative material that touched on a wide range of issues including human rights in Islam and Shariah.

“The volunteers at the booth conducted themselves professionally and listened patiently to the questions and concerns from the visitors. It was a very cordial and educational interaction,” said Albert Tampi, Event Coordinator. Spanish speaking volunteers as well as a volunteer fluent in sign language were key to the dialogue at the booths, as two of those who embraced Islam were Spanish speakers.

“Shariah was the main topic but other topics like concept of God in Islam and Jesus in Islam were very popular as well” Jameel Ramahi, Booth Manager.

“Shariah was the main topic but other topics like concept of God in Islam and Jesus in Islam were very popular as well” Jameel Ramahi, Booth Manager.

 

  • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm Disciple of Jesus

    Question:

    Does the Quran really contain dozens of verses promoting violence?

    Summary Answer:

    The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

    Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, the verses of violence in the Quran are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historical context of the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of Allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Quran.

    Most of today’s Muslims exercise a personal choice to interpret their holy book’s many calls to violence according to what their own moral preconceptions find justifiable. Apologists cater to their preferences with tenuous arguments that gloss over historical fact and generally do not stand up to scrutiny. Still, it is important to note that the problem is not bad people, but bad ideology.

    Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. Muhammad’s own martial legacy – and that of his companions – along with the remarkable stress on violence found in the Quran have produced a trail of blood and tears across world history.

    The Quran:

    Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

    Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

  • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/023-violence.htm Disciple of Jesus

    I already took screen shots of how you canged my first post and i will post this on youtube to prove you are nothing more than liars engaging in AL TAQIYYA.

  • http://www.mustafaumar.com Mustafa Umar

    The Accusation
    One of the common, yet groundless, accusations being made against Islam is that it forces itself on others. The picture presented is that if someone doesn’t stop Islam, it will forcefully convert everyone, even at gunpoint.

    Here’s one of the verses commonly quoted by those who make their living propagating this idea:

    “…seize them and kill them wherever you find them…” [Qur’an 4:91]

    This verse is used as evidence that Muslims are required to kill anyone who doesn’t accept Islam. That would mean that any Muslim who doesn’t either forcefully convert or kill every non-Muslim he sees isn’t practicing Islam. This ridiculous idea is childishly easy to refute. But before we do that, let’s do a brief comparison.

    A Comparison
    Let’s see what the bible has to say about violence:

    In Deuteronomy 7:1-3: “When the Lord your God brings you into the land… and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them…”

    In Deuteronomy 20:10-17: “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, then lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves.

    In Deuteronomy 20:16-17: “However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…”

    In Numbers 31:17-18: “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

    Jesus is reported to have said in Luke 19:27: “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

    Again, Jesus supposedly said in Matthew 10:34: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

    The verses in the bible are much more violent than any of the verses that can be found in the Qur’an. Can you find a single verse in the Qur’an which says: “Show them no mercy!” or “Do not leave anything that breathes!” or “Kill all the non-virgin women!”? Yet, ironically, most of the people who quote verses from the Qur’an about violence consider themselves Christians and believe in the Bible. Why do they ignore their own Scripture and apply a double standard of hypocrisy?

    However, the fair Christian will say: “These verses must be read in context.” I agree, and the same opportunity of contextualization should be given to the Qur’an as well.

    Searching for Context
    To understand the context of any verse in the Qur’an relating to violence, you only need to do two things:

    Identify the pronouns
    Read the verses before and after the verse in question
    This simple technique is so blatantly obvious; it requires a very special ‘education’ to forget to apply it.

    Let’s identify the pronouns in the verse we quoted: “…seize them and kill them wherever you find them …” [Qur’an 4:91]. There is only one pronoun, ‘them’, used three times, and it’s pretty clear that it refers to the same group of people. This group of people referred to as ‘them’ can only be identified if we look at the verses before and after.

    Looking at the preceding verses we learn the following:

    Verse 88 tells us that the pronoun ‘them’ is referring to hypocrites who pretend to be Muslim on the outside but are actually spies and informants
    Verse 89 tells us that if these hypocrites turn on you to fight you then you are allowed to fight them
    Verse 90 tells us that Muslims are not allowed to touch anyone who doesn’t want to fight
    In this example, it becomes crystal clear that ‘them’ is referring to a group of two-faced hypocrites who are trying to harm and kill the Muslims. It would have been sufficient in this case to simply quote more of the verse: “So if they neither withdraw, nor offer you peace, nor restrain themselves from fighting you, then sieze them and kill them wherever you find them: We give you clear authority against these type of people.” [Qur’an 4:91]

    Proof from the Qur’an
    There is not a single verse in the Qur’an which says to harm another person because of their not being a Muslim. On the contrary, there are several verses which talk about respecting non-Muslims.

    To further clarify the matter about forced conversion to Islam, let’s look at these verses:

    “ There is no compulsion in religion…” [Qur’an 2:256]

    “Had your Lord wanted, all the people on earth would have believed. So will you force people to believe?” [Qur’an 10:99]

    “So warn them: your only task is to warn, you’re not supposed to force them.” [Qur’an 88:21-22]

    “He does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith and driven you out of your homes, God loves the just.” [Qur’an 60:8]

    Could the Qur’an be any clearer on this issue?

    Proof from the Prophet of Islam
    The second source in Islam, after the Qur’an, are the statements made by the Prophet Muhammad. Let’s see what he said about non-Muslims and how to force them to join Islam:

    “Whoever kills an innocent non-Muslim will not even smell the fragrance of paradise.” [Source: Bukhārī, K. ad-Diyāt]

    How could this statement possibly be compatible with the ridiculous idea that Islam forces itself on others? Instead, it makes it clear that no non-Muslim is allowed to be harmed because of what they believe.

    The Historical Evidence
    Lastly, 1400 years of Muslim history, from the Prophet’s living example up until now when there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, where do we find this forced conversion being practiced? Nowhere.

    On the contrary, we find throughout history, Muslims being the targets of forced conversion, particularly to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition and the Crusades and to Atheism during the Communist era of the 20th century.

    Conclusion
    So the question about whether Islam forces itself on others has been addressed. Now the question remains, what can we do to prevent Muslims from being forced to leave their faith?