Guest Lecturing At William Penn Charter School

I had the extreme pleasure of talking at William Penn Charter School today to Thomas Rickards’ high school class on comparitive religion. I was invited to speak on my narrative as an American Muslim and how and why I became Muslim as well as other issues facing the American Muslim community(ies). The students were all quite cordial and asked pertinent questions. I must say that I was truly impressed with the school. The students carried themselves with a quiet dignity, never shouting or creating a raucous. The school itself had an open, serene quality to it. Somewhere I could see myself sending my own children (if I had any). My parents also joined me and had an opportunity to listen in on the conversation. It was a great experience, one that I hope to have the pleasure to repeat again. Below are a few shots of the school and a few afterwards, with my parents. Enjoy.

Mom & Dad, Manayunk

Ridge Ave, Manayunk

Mom, Manayunk

William Penn Charter School, Near Germantown

William Penn Charter School, Near Germantown

8 Comments Guest Lecturing At William Penn Charter School

  1. theblog@manrilla.net'Marqas

    Salaams and thanks. I think I really dig that one of my folks, if I can say so. I miss them terribly, as I don’t get to see them often. Thanks for the kind words. And thanks to Tom’s class. I really enjoyed talking with them.

  2. nuralanur23@gmail.com'M. Shahin

    Salaam Alakium,

    I’m glad the talk went well for you. May Allah send blessings your way for spreading the message of Islam to others. We need more people to take up this important task.

    Loved the pictures of your parents, especially that first one. Tell your mom that is a nice jacket 🙂

    Ridge Ave is a nice pic also. I like the other little pictures in it, and the back of Daily News.

  3. islamiclawetc@gmail.com'Hood

    Salam Alaikum
    You didn’t happen to record the class or have some notes to post did you? Or maybe you can tell us about the students questions/reactions? I’m interested in hearing how it went, its not everyday that an american Muslim is even thought of to present Islam in a school setting.

  4. theblog@manrilla.net'Marqas

    Thanks, Titus. Your words are most kind. I do feel very fortunate for having the parents I have. An appreciation that grows as I do. They think quite highly of you as well. I hope we’ll have some time to sit and have dinner together at some point in the future.

  5. theblog@manrilla.net'Marqas

    Hood,

    Salam Alaikum
    You didn’t happen to record the class or have some notes to post did you? Or maybe you can tell us about the students questions/reactions? I’m interested in hearing how it went, its not everyday that an american Muslim is even thought of to present Islam in a school setting.

    I did not record the class but I do have plenty of mental notes. What would you like me to ellaborate on? You are correct, that not many people usually look to an American Musilm because our Islam is sometimes not seen as “authentic”. But this is starting to change as Islam takes roots in America – i.e., putting an American face on Islam here.

    As for questions, they ranged from why did I become Muslim to the nature of Muslim/Muslim and Muslim/non-Muslim relations. They were inquisitive on how Muslims of different ethnic/racial backgrounds associated with each other. I illustrated how the African-American community has a very different agenda (or should in my opinion) than the ethnic community does. And I also pointed out that a people’s history influences very much how they operate in their context (how Blackamerican Muslims relate to whites, both Muslim and non-Muslim alike).

    Another topic was the effect that 9/11 had on Muslim conciousness in America. I spoke again, on how one’s background shapes one’s perspective towards 9/11. Ethnic Muslims have taken the role of apologists to a far greater extent than indigenous American Muslims, because it’s “their face” that’s on 9/11 and not ours.

    I talked more about why I have chosen to stay Muslim versus becoming Muslim. I explained that it’s not difficult to become something but longevity is something else.

    Let me know if you’ve got other questions.

  6. aethereal@aol.com'Titus

    Marc…your parents are truly wonderful and you must know how lucky you are to have them…I am so glad they had a chance to see and be a part of the wonderful things you are doing to help our communities live together through understanding and tolerance. Keep up the good work and good things will follow you in life.
    Titus

  7. raheemah@post.harvard.edu'Fatimah

    Marc … your comments at Penn Charter were thoughtful and really hit the mark. If more people (especially young people) had an opportunity to engage in this type of dialogue with Muslims I think it would help demonstrate that there is nothing strange about being equally Muslim and American. Too often, Islam is relegated in the media and even within Muslim communities to some extent as a religion that “belongs” to people in foreign countries.

    I’m glad that your parents had a chance to visit the City of Brotherly (albeit somewhat rainy lately) Love and share the experience at Penn Charter with you!

  8. islamiclawetc@gmail.com'Hood

    You said:
    “I illustrated how the African-American community has a very different agenda (or should in my opinion) than the ethnic community does.”

    So how did that go? and what are your thoughts on the subjects? Did you find that they were sympathetic with the concept or that they rolled all muslims up into a big ball?

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