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Understanding the Islamic Religion

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By Brianna Case.
Between politicians and extremists, a negative feeling is being associated to the Islamic world here in America.

Just this past Thursday night a police officer was shot by a man who said he did it in the name of the Islamic State or ISIS.

This among other events have led to a negative perception of the Islamic Faith.

And, those within the Muslim community want people to know that their religion is not about that.

"Everything that they are doing contradicts the very fundamental principals of Islam and what we are taught in the Quran. That the dignity of life, has to be preserved," said Ehtisham Siddiqui, President of the Executive Comity of Islamic Organization.

"They firmly believe and I firmly believe that their religion has been co-opted by a small radical group and they want to disassociate themselves from it and I welcome all of those remarks," said Jon Burgman, Co-President of Temple Concord.

Members of the Islamic Association of the Southern Tier said that they had enough of all this negativity and held an open house in Johnson City to combat this type of stereotyping.

People of all religions and ethnic backgrounds attended in hopes to learn more about the Islamic Faith.

"I saw so many presentations of television last year, some saying Islam is a religion of peace, some saying it's one of violence, and seeing so many interviews, I read the Quran myself last year, to try to understand, I am a catholic and I wanted to see what it said," said Mark Reed, Binghamton Resident.

After reading the Quran and attending the open house, Mark as well as many others had a better understanding of what the Islamic religion all about.

"It does come off as a religion of peace. Murder is absolutely prohibited, there are strictures in the Quran that say that Muslims and people of the book who include Christians and Jews are to compete for good works," said Reed.

Now, every person I spoke to today said the same thing, that they believe that all religions may be different, but they are still very much a like.

"The major concepts are the same, the differences are very slight in the details," said Faaria Fasiah, Fordham University Student.

"In the Children of Abraham, we always start out exploring our differences, and we always come together and find out how much alike we really are," said Kimberly Chastain, Pastor of United Presbyterian Church.

"It's really one faith that we all belong to and it brings us closer together," said Siddiqui.

"It's important to us, unless their really is a threat being imported to understand that and to and try to work for understanding," said Reed.

"And believe in the diversity of the United States and strengths from diversity the better off we are all going to be," said Burgman.

Those that went to the Islamic Association of the Southern Tier's Open house proved that even with diversity, people of all backgrounds can work together as one.

"I go to a Jesuit university, work with a Jewish professor, I'm Muslim, we are looking for a cure for a disease found in the Palestinian population. We are all working together for the betterment of all of society no matter what religion," said Fasiah.