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Thoughts on Dr. Peterson's Tx Lectures


WalkerW

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Just like the title says. Those who attended, what thoughts did you have? (especially on the Islam lecture)

Speaking of which, Dr. Peterson, what were the "Incoherence" books again?

What was suggested as good reading for the Golden Age of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish dialogue?

And finally, what was the context of the conversation and which Seventy was it that commented on stupidity?

Thanks for coming to Texas. It was great to meet you and hear your insight.

One more: Have you read Stark's "God's Batallions?" I contemplated checking it out, but was a bit sensitive to the Islam subject after hearing your lecture. Seemed informative, but wanted to get your view.

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Frankly, given the heavy hearts of all here inTexas ver this past week, I can only imagine the awkardness of a Muslim topic . That coupled with some of the other negative Muslim events of this past year down here probably makes such topic a tough sell in any venue. I hope the respectve ward was charitable to your efforts on a most difficult setting.

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I think it went quite well. People seem to have been friendly and receptive. (Although you never know: I gave a similar lecture down in Florida, at the stake center directly across from the Orlando Temple, back in early February, and, cleaning up a pile of old papers last week, came across two letters from Florida Mormons that I hadn't seen before, posted just after that talk. They were, to put it very mildly, extremely hostile and angry. So there's always the possibility of similar letters arriving soon from Texas.)

We had quite a few Muslims in the audience -- I'm guessing something on the order of thirty or so, but I'm a terrible estimator of crowds -- and they seemed to feel quite welcome. I was particularly impressed with the local imam, a very scholarly fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Istanbul. He attended the lecture and gave me a copy of a book he had written on Methodology in Islamic Studies, and it looks quite good. He and his wife were students of the late Fuat Sezgin, something of an academic hero of mine, and, as I told them, it was an honor to have them there.

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DCP seemed to impress upon me that Muslims regard their physical Koran with its written word to be more sacred than Christians do the Bible! Many a Christian would think nothing of it to use a stack of Bibles to support a weak bedframe. LDS people scribble testimonies and paste pictures in the covers of Book of Mormons to personalize them with a testimony from a living believer. And what happens to all those Book of Mormons laying around that get broken spines and tattered covers? Tossed in the garbage can!

Yes, I learned that Muslims treat their scriptures better than Christians and Mormons.

Paul O

:P

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I think it went quite well. People seem to have been friendly and receptive. (Although you never know: I gave a similar lecture down in Florida, at the stake center directly across from the Orlando Temple, back in early February, and, cleaning up a pile of old papers last week, came across two letters from Florida Mormons that I hadn't seen before, posted just after that talk. They were, to put it very mildly, extremely hostile and angry. So there's always the possibility of similar letters arriving soon from Texas.)

We had quite a few Muslims in the audience -- I'm guessing something on the order of thirty or so, but I'm a terrible estimator of crowds -- and they seemed to feel quite welcome. I was particularly impressed with the local imam, a very scholarly fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Istanbul. He attended the lecture and gave me a copy of a book he had written on Methodology in Islamic Studies, and it looks quite good. He and his wife were students of the late Fuat Sezgin, something of an academic hero of mine, and, as I told them, it was an honor to have them there.

Wow. That is impressive. Our ward is quite down here around SA, is quite Anglo. Were the Muslim audience invited at the direction or program of the stake in Dallas? I ask because even only 30 seems quite high for an LDS stake here in Texas. Just curious as to such a turnout.

I wish the Church would make the same effort to bridge-build with the black community here in Texas and elsewhere.

Anyway, congrads on he effort.

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There was an article in the Spectator that some Moslems were using Wikpedia to make claims about Islamic contributions to science that were not really supported by the facts.

There's no question that some Muslims do that. But there's also no question that there were very, very great Muslim scientists (e.g., Ibn Sina [Avicenna], Ibn Haytham, al-Biruni, al-Khwarizmi, and etc.) who made enormous contributions.

Were the Muslim audience invited at the direction or program of the stake in Dallas?

I don't know quite how it was organized. I'm brought in, but I don't always know the exact details of the operation. The local stake hosted the event, but Tatiana Androsov, the director of Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas (a very interesting interfaith organization), was also involved, and she spoke briefly both before and after my remarks.

I was in Texas in the first place on behalf of the BYU College of Humanities. The dean of Humanities and the college's "donor liason" (fundraiser) also came. I spoke at one other fireside besides the one on Sunday evening and at a Friday night "cottage meeting," and they did some meetings with donors.

I wish the Church would make the same effort to bridge-build with the black community here in Texas and elsewhere.

I'm a deep believer in bridge-building of all kinds.

Incidentally, some of the Muslims who attended the Sunday night event were black.

.

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Bernard Lewis is my favorite general historian of the Islamic world.

Mine too. When I was 15 I read his anthology of early Islamic history quite a few times. I highly recommend it.

There are also some excellent studies by Israeli scholars, but unfortunately I don't have access to any of those books at the moment.

As for the treatment of scriptures, it does distress me to see LDS placing them on the floor, call that cultural baggage if you will!

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Incidentally, some of the Muslims who attended the Sunday night event were black.

A lot of the Palestinian Arabs I know are rather black, no surprise they are mostly Bedouin descended from Sudanese slaves owned by the local chieftains.

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I was particularly impressed with the local imam, a very scholarly fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Istanbul. He attended the lecture and gave me a copy of a book he had written on Methodology in Islamic Studies, and it looks quite good. He and his wife were students of the late Fuat Sezgin, something of an academic hero of mine, and, as I told them, it was an honor to have them there.

Very nice man. I talked with him prior to talking with you. He gave me his card. I'm interested to check out his book.

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They were, to put it very mildly, extremely hostile and angry. So there's always the possibility of similar letters arriving soon from Texas.)

If you don't get any, I'll write you one just so it can be a well-rounded Texas experience. I'll try and use a lot of vulgar, redneck language too. And make up the spelling of words. ex. Izlom

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I'm a deep believer in bridge-building of all kinds.

Incidentally, some of the Muslims who attended the Sunday night event were black

That they were and these people seemed friendly and confident in themselves. It really was a pleasant experience and I think those Muslims are aware that LDS people are anxious and willing to reach out in a general spirit of fellowship. One can only imagine what kind of things they've heard or read about the LDS church.

I think your contribution to the cause was helpful and you made Dallas a better place. Thanks.

On a side note -- It was glaringly obvious that no hymns were sung. I have to assume that was a direct effort to avoid making the guests feel uncomfortable. I was relieved because I don't care for the majority of the hymns anyway.

Paul O

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Thanks for the kind words.

On a side note -- It was glaringly obvious that no hymns were sung. I have to assume that was a direct effort to avoid making the guests feel uncomfortable. I was relieved because I don't care for the majority of the hymns anyway.

I like most of the hymns.

But yes, it was a conscious decision not to sing any hymns. The organizers didn't see the fireside as entirely a "Mormon" event; we knew that a number of non-LDS would be in attendance, including a substantial group of Muslims and at least a couple of clergy from other Christian faiths. And, as I mentioned, Tatiana Androsov, a non-Mormon, also spoke briefly on the program, both before and after I did.

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There was an article in the Spectator that some Moslems were using Wikpedia to make claims about Islamic contributions to science that were not really supported by the facts.

When we were in Russia, there were claims made about Russian contributions that were not really supported by the facts.

When we were in Canada, there were claims made about Canadian contributions that were not really supported by the facts.

And when we were in Canada and Russia, we found out that there were claims made about American contributions that were really not supported by the facts.

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One can only imagine what kind of things they've heard or read about the LDS church
An interfaith presentation I attended a number of years ago featured a Muslim leader (IIRC) from the SLC area and he stated his opinion that Utah was seen in the Muslim community (I don't remember if he meant local or national) as one of (I remember it as the most, but allowing for memory alteration over the years) the most Muslim friendly regions in the US.
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I wish the Church would make the same effort to bridge-build with the black community here in Texas and elsewhere.

Anyway, congrads on he effort.

Perhaps where you are in Texas you haven't been able to see first hand the growth of the Church particularly in the black communities especially in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The first individual I was able to baptize as a missionary was a black woman. Her husband was baptized earlier, and within two years they had received their endowments and were sealed together.

I loved serving in the black communities as well as in my primary focus areas in finding teaching Tongans. (I spoke Tongan as a missionary.)

As time progresses, I expect to see more of our brethren from all cultures accept the fullness of the Gospel.

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But yes, it was a conscious decision not to sing any hymns. The organizers didn't see the fireside as entirely a "Mormon" event; we knew that a number of non-LDS would be in attendance, including a substantial group of Muslims and at least a couple of clergy from other Christian faiths. And, as I mentioned, Tatiana Androsov, a non-Mormon, also spoke briefly on the program, both before and after I did

Sure, I understand and don't have a problem with it. But let's be clear about one thing: Hymns were avoided not because the congregation included members of another Christian faith but rather because they were of the Muslim faith. It was a delicate situation and it was handled right.

Paul O

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