SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate college professor says educators are adjusting how they teach about Islam to reflect how one of the world’s biggest religions is seen today.
“This means not limiting our understanding of Islam to radicalism but at the same time addressing the real concerns about those groups that students bring to class,” said Wofford College Islamic Studies Professor Courtney Dorrall.
It was part of a guest lecture series at Spartanburg Methodist College Tuesday.
“We have an issue with Islamophobia in the West,” Prof. Dorroll said. “One of the big issues right now is the fact that some people conflate radical Islam and political Islam and apply that to all Muslims. The fact is that al-Qaeda and ISIS, for example, are a tiny percentage of the global Muslim population, but these groups happen to be the ones we hear about most.”
Dorroll says conversations about Islam are especially important in light of the recent deadly attack on a mosque in New Zealand:
“I think a lot of times when something happens regarding isis or something comes up about maybe a radical, fundamentalist issue with Islam people often say ‘How are Muslims reacting?’ and ‘Are they denouncing this?’” said Professor Dorrall. “My colleagues and I don’t think it’s the appropriate conversation. It should be non-Muslims that are fighting islamophobia because we’re the ones that are islamophobic.”
Dorrall has also written a book on this issue.