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Islamic Groups Calls For Educational Program On Muhammed

The Council on American-Islamic Relations of Ohio is taking part in the effort called "Explore the Life of Muhammed." The group said the campaign is a pro-active way to challenge the anti-Muslim stereotypes that are reinforced by the violent reaction regarding the Danish caricatures. CAIR-Ohio president Asma Mobin-Uddin said the Islamic organization condemns the violent response of some Muslims.

"Muslims are appalled and dismayed by the images we are seeing on our TV as well. The Prophet Muhammed's example was one of kindness, was one of mercy, was one of forgiveness and he would not have instructed people to act in this way or been happy about what we see," Mobin-Uddin said.

The campaign is offering people of all faiths a free book or DVD about the life of Muhammed. Islamic Society of Greater Columbus President, Mouhamed Tarazi, said he hopes this campaign will bring a better understanding of the Muslim faith.

"This educational program about Prophet Muhammed provides an important service to the larger community for basic background about our faith. It will hopefully help lead to better communications and understanding among us and our neighbors," Tarazi said.

Some people may have a difficult time understanding the violent reaction from the Islamic community, but Mobin-Uddin said this program will help them become more aware of why the Prophet Muhammed is so highly regarded among Muslims. While she deplored the acts of violence, Mobin-Uddin said European-Muslims are not as socially accepted as American-Muslims and felt targeted before the cartoons were even published.

"The American-Muslim community people are much, they're much more integrated, they're economically integrated, socially integrated and we have access to newspapers to share with colleagues. And the media has been much more responsible and respecting people's sensitivities. And I think that's why you don't see that type of reaction in the American-Muslim community. And you wouldn't see it. You would see peaceful protests, you would see people trying to educate, but you wouldn't see people reacting in violence," Mobin-Uddin said.

CAIR-Ohio is hosting its first open forum February 26 at the Sunrise Academy School.