The Islamic Center Of Akron / Kent Essay

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As an observant Jewish individual I wanted to take this course to not only deepen my understanding of other religions and cultures, but also be given the opportunity to step outside what I have always known and accepted as “truth.” In particular, I found myself gravitating toward the religion of Islam, for reasons that were personal and social. First, it is hard to ignore what is shown everyday through media and every day life. If one were to believe only what they read or heard, it would be easy for he or she to form a negative and empty opinion and view of the religion itself. However, if one steps beyond their zone of comfort and removes their veil of ignorance they will begin to see a people and a religion that has nothing but beauty and truth to offer. In October we were given an opportunity to tour the Islamic Center of Akron/Kent and this was my moment to swing open the doors of knowledge, new territory, and discomfort. As I prepared for that day I wondered what I would encounter. More importantly, as an observant Jew I felt uneasy, because I was about to embark on a new experience that would put me in a room where a religion that is different from mine was being practiced. As I drove to the Islamic Center I wondered who or what I would encounter. Upon entering the Mosque, the first thing I noticed was the large prayer hall on my right. The ceilings seemed as if they could touch the sky; the windows were tall and grand, allowing light to flood in and touch every inch
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