Course to give A Taste of Islam

An opportunity for the community to learn more about Islam will be available through a six-week course Thursdays starting Feb. 10.

The free course — A Taste of Islam — will be at the San Luis Obispo Public Library at 995 Palm St. from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. through March 17.

The course will be taught by Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, a Cal Poly professor of philosophy and religious studies; the Rev. Jane Voigts of the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church; and Rushdi Abdul-Cader, a local physician and member of the Mosque of the Nasreen in San Luis Obispo.

“My experience is that most people really don’t know what Muslims believe and the history of the religion and how similar it is to Judaism and Christianity,” Voigts said. “I hope people may come away learning that Muslims aren’t scary, but they are like brothers and sisters.”

The teachers have encouraged everyone in the community, including local Muslims, to attend the course, which is not graded. Organizers of the course hope to create better understanding and community bonds.

Those in the class are encouraged to buy Reza Aslan’s book “No god but God,” which will be used in the teachings, but anyone can attend with or without the book.

Voigts said a goal also is to show that a “small fraction of Muslims is infected with the spirit of evil, but an enormous swath of Muslims are not,” and the teachers want to introduce a “much bigger picture of a wonderful religion” than sometimes is perceived.