An expert on Islam spoke at Drake University in Des Moines last night about what he says are some of the misconceptions of religion. Scott Kugle is also a practicing Muslim.He says the basic point is that Islam has just as many resources for talking about peace and nonviolence as it does for war. He says the peaceful aspects of the religion are not considered the norm among Americans. He says most Americans see Islam though the lens of war and fighting, and he says that’s been a problem since the crusades. Kugle says he tries to explain the peaceful side of the religion. He says most Americans don’t know Muslims as people and get their impressions from the TV or radio. Kugle says he began working on his presentation before 9-11 and the current war in Iraq, because the misconceptions were there already. He says his talk doesn’t really address the military and political events that’re going, although he says it can’t be totally avoided, but he says he just wants to answer questions about the religion. Kugle is an assistant professor of religion at Swarthmore (Pennsylvania) College.
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