TULSA, Oklahoma –
Many Oklahomans are joining people across the country to rally against President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Middle-Eastern countries.
We haven’t seen any violent protests in Oklahoma, and the Islamic Society of Tulsa said that may be because of their efforts to stay active in the community.
One way they stay active is by offering a class to educate people about Islam. It’s something they’ve been doing for years, and representatives hope people will take advantage of the free course.
The Tulsa Islamic Society mosque receives calls every day from the people with questions.
“There are people who hear every bad thing about Muslims and they never hear the rest of the story. And they call saying, ‘1.7 billion people can’t be that bad or we’ll all be dead by now,’” said Cheryl Siddiqui with the Islamic Society of Tulsa.
Siddiqui teaches the Islamic Society’s free four-part course Discover Islam, or, Islam 101. It’s held Wednesday nights.
“It’s not about converting people,” she said. “It’s is simply about answering their questions, and calming the fears and addressing the concerns, and then finding out what are the ways we can work together.”
At the beginning of every month the course starts over.
The first part covers, who are Muslims and what are their beliefs. The second part covers rituals, traditions and lifestyles. The third part covers women. And the fourth covers politics – things like human rights, treaties, wars and history.
“We really have been able to have great interaction with lots of different people,” Siddiqui said.
On any given night, Siddiqui said a few people or up to 30 could show up. She said now more than ever she hopes participation grows.
Siddiqui said, “I think a lot of people have stood up on our behalf and they don’t even know who we are, and those people have a right to know who they are standing up for. They know they are standing up for bad policy, but it’s good to know they are standing up for real humans.”
In addition to the weekly Islam 101 course, the Islamic Society also offers other programs. You can find more information here.