Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy – Assignment Example
The paper "Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy" is a wonderful example of an assignment on religion and theology. The Muslim world today is facing a crisis and Muslims all over the world are frustrated and suffering. There are widespread distrust and misunderstanding. There is a need for Muslims, Muslim organizations and leaders to promote a better appreciation of Islam. The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) has for some time now been playing a significant role in promoting a better understanding of Islam. CSID is based in Washington DC and is a non-profit organization. It was founded in March 1999 by Radwan Masmoudi, an MIT-trained robotics engineer along with a group comprising of both Muslim and non-Muslim activists, academicians and professionals from the USA. All of them felt that there was a need to study and propagate reliable information about Islam. Today CSID has some 500 Muslim scholars, activists and Islamic specialists from the US and other countries. It publishes works of scholars who believe in a liberal interpretation of Islam. Its mission is to help the American community and America’s policymakers understand Islam's approach to individual freedom and civil rights. According to Marina Ottawa, “ the Center both disseminates information that combats stereotypes about Islam and encourages scholars fighting to define what Islam means in the 21st century." CSID’s activities include producing several publications throughout the year, such as the Muslim Democrat, Conference Proceedings and Democracy Watch, sponsoring regular lectures by prominent people, holding conferences and panel discussions, and various other activities on Islam and democracy. Within a few years of its establishment, CSID has done an excellent and remarkable job of making the possible discussion about Islam and democracy in the United States and has thus helped in breaking down prejudice and removing misunderstanding. The Center has succeeded in providing a platform for Muslims who support democracy and reform. It has also played a major role in providing the people of America a better understanding of the diversity that is present in Islam. As the members and leaders of this organization come from a Muslim background they have a better understanding of Muslim culture and are able to promote these ideas within traditional societies. CSID is known for its independence and integrity. It has always held a balanced view without being influenced by the policies of any administration. As mentioned earlier the Muslim world is in a crisis and its people lack an effective voice. CSID by providing a platform for discussions and debates on issues which are important to the Muslim world, conducting workshops, conferences and educational programs has promoted cross-cultural understanding and also promoted peace and tolerance. It is, for this reason, one can choose CSID as an organization that has played a very important role in the development of Islam in America. By projecting an enlightened and moderate view of Islam it has promoted a greater understanding of the Islamic world in the United States. One can emphatically say that no American Muslim organization understands Islam and America as well as CSID.