Iraqi imam to visit Glenwood | PostIndependent.com
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Iraqi imam to visit Glenwood

In order to gain a broad view of religion – specifically, Islam – the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Glenwood Springs is inviting Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni to speak Sunday at the Glenwood Community Center. As part of the congregation’s theme of “Building Bridges,” Kazerooni will speak about his broad view of Islam. “We feel it’s important to examine all sides on all religious issues,” said Jan Girardot, editor pro-tempore of the congregation’s newsletter. Girardot said Kazerooni is especially valuable to help Roaring Fork Valley residents gain a better understanding of Islam because Kazerooni, leader of the Denver Islamic Center, understands the importance of the religion in Iran, Iraq and the United States. Born in Al Najaf, Iraq, in 1958, Kazerooni is part of a family of theologians and Shiite clerics. He began his religious studies early, but as a young Shiite priest, he became an Iraqi dissident and was imprisoned repeatedly under Saddam Hussein. Kazerooni fled the country in 1974, traveling to Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran in search of a safe place to stay. After completing his theological studies in Iran, he fled to England and began a secular education. When asked during an interview published on http://www.homileticsonline.com what can be done to combat the notion that Islam is a violent religion, Kazerooni said that violence isn’t unique to Islam.”If we are going to make a judgment on the basis of history, Christianity cannot claim that it is the religion of peace when we look at a number of atrocities that were committed under the banner of Christianity,” he said. He said that even though 99 percent of the Muslim leadership in the United States condemned the Sept. 11 attacks, “very seldom do (the media) give us time to explain ourselves and to condemn those who act hideously under the banner of Islam.”It was due to that fact that I decided to go around and give lectures and make presentations and do workshops,” he said. Kazerooni said that his favorite passage in the Koran says, “Let us work together on issues that we have in common, rather than on issues on which we differ.” “And the fundamental issue that we have in common,” he said, “is the basic belief in Almighty God and that he is supreme, and we must submit to him.”Kazerooni will speak to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. Child care will be provided. For more information log onto http://www.uucgs.org or call 928-8721.


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