Religious extremism rooted in history, interference, Islam expert tells panel

maxresdefaultDr. Azam Nizamuddin has some advice for those searching for a way for Christians and Muslims to live together in peace.

“We need to think outside a religious or non-religious binary,” he told about 70 people Wednesday at the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church. “We need to think beyond black and white.”

Nizamuddin, an attorney and adjunct professor of theology at Loyola University Chicago, was part of “Living Together – Islam and Christianity,” an open discussion sponsored by the Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland.

He characterized the current distortion of Islam by extremists as primarily a reaction to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s.

“It is the response to that destruction of society,” he said.

Nizamuddin use the analogy of the aftermath of World War I, when European nations turned to nationalism and anti-Semitism to rally their populations.

“What did they both have (that) in common,” he asked. “They both used religion.”



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