Thu Jul 6, 2017 5:31AM
Islam: The Essentials
Islam: The Essentials
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Northern Ireland is no stranger to religious tension. 2 Christian denominations - Protestants and Catholics - have been divided for centuries over allegiance to the British state or a desire for independence from it. And unfortunately that division has often spilled over into violence.

Yet religious observance in Northern Ireland is higher than in other parts of the UK and there's a deep interest in the spiritual. Muslims are small in number in Northern Ireland and Islam is poorly understood. Like elsewhere in the West, it's often associated with the oppression of women, violence and terrorism because of mainstream media distortions. But the Belfast Book Festival, now in it’s 7th year, aims to dispel some of those misconceptions. The festival gives a platform to prominent local and international authors across all book genres.

This year it invited Professor Tariq Ramadan for a lecture about the ideas presented in his new book Islam: The Essentials.The book provides answers about what Islam is and isn't in a short and extremely accessible format. In simple, direct language it introduces readers to Islam, to its spirituality, its principles, its rituals, its diversity and its evolution. At this crucial time when civilizations are clashing and misunderstandings are rife, Professor Ramadan's book could not be more timely.

Professor Tariq Ramadan, in this episode, emphasizes on the necessity of understanding the essence of Islam and spiritual teachings and the importance of the terminology. Tariq talks about those who has distorted all Islamic principles and we have a moral duty to condemn their actions and respond.