[Vision2020] Building Bridges With Our Muslim Neighbors

nickgier at adelphia.net nickgier at adelphia.net
Mon Sep 24 11:36:55 PDT 2007

Hail to the Vision!

This is my radio commentary for this week and I urge all Visionaries to join us in this event at the Farmers Market.  It will be aired at 8 and 9:30 AM on Wednesday on KRFP FM 92.5.

Next week I'll report on my recent trip to Denmark and Sweden.

This is Nick Gier, the Palouse Pundit, celebrating our Muslim neighbors.

This Saturday, September 29, the Latah Human Rights Task Force will be sponsoring an event entitled "Building Bridges with Our Muslims Neighbors." It will be held at the Farmer's Market in Moscow from 8-12 PM.

There will be music, slide shows, videos, informational sheets, and activities for children.  A poster board will feature seven distinguished Muslim citizens of the Palouse.

Children can color famous Islamic designs or color maps that show where most of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims live.  One out of every fourth person in the world is a Muslim.  Most of these people live in moderate Muslim nations and they overwhelmingly reject Islamic extremism. 

A slide show of Morocco will show the major cities and mosques in a moderate Muslim country whose new king, Mohammed VI, is liberalizing the economy, reforming marriage laws, deporting Islamic extremists, and abolishing the death penalty.  Morocco has been rated as the best Muslim democracy by "The Economist" magazine, although Freedom House still objects to a lack of press freedom and tolerance for critics of the king.

One of the videos will focus on the glories of Islamic Spain. For 1,300 years Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in relative peace and produced some of history's finest literature, advanced science, sophisticated philosophical works, and beautiful architecture.  The pointed arch of the Gothic cathedral, much stronger than the rounded Roman arch, was borrowed from Muslim builders.

One informational sheet will focus on Islamic inventions. In the early 800s a Muslim by the name of Jabir ibn Hayyan discovered distillation, a process essential to the development of the science of chemistry.  Emphasizing systematic experimentation rather than esoteric alchemy, Jabir ibn Hayyan discovered sulphuric and nitric acid and, for the first time, distilled rose water and other perfumes, prized items sold by ubiquitous Muslim traders.

A 10th Century Muslim Ibn al-Haitham built the first pin hole camera and he was the first to conclude that the eye works by receiving light rather than sending it out to objects.  Our word camera comes the Arabic word for a dark room. 

A Muslim engineer by the name of al-Jarazi invented the crank-shaft, the combination lock, and the first mechanical clock.  These discoveries are found in his book entitled "Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices" published in 1206.

Christians of the Middle Ages rarely ever washed and the Crusaders were known for their rancid smell and as well as their brutality.  Muslims are required to wash before prayer and for centuries they had been using the first known soap.  A Muslim trader introduced shampoo to the English in 1759.

Muslim astronomers were the first to propose that the orbits of the planets were not fixed circles but ellipses, and a Persian stargazer was the first to observe and identify the Andromeda galaxy.  Muslim astronomers knew that the earth was a sphere and that rotated on its own axis.  They calculated the earth's circumference, the latitude and longitude of major cities, and were able to calculate the direction of Mecca from any place on earth.

This year the Muslim community of the Palouse celebrated the 25th anniversary of their mosque in Pullman, and Moscow has been named the only inclusive city in Idaho by the National League of Cities.  Please join in celebrating of this honor by coming to a potluck supper followed by a community discussion on "Racial Equality and Inclusive Community." 

This is Nick Gier, the Palouse Pundit, requesting that you send your comments to nickgier at adelphia.net or check out my website at www.NickGier.com.

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