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Understanding Islam: Introductory Course

Wed March 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

Understanding Islam

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Massachusetts, and are working to keep up with the rapidly changing reality we’re living in. We are centering our commitment to take care of ourselves and each other, and are working hard to meet the diverse needs of our community, from preschoolers to octogenarians. As a health precaution, this event will NOT be in-person. We are working to host this interactive course virtually. If you register now, please know that there is a chance the course may be postponed, in which case full refunds will available upon request.

A Muslim Woman’s Perspective on the Essence of Islam, the Diversity of the Muslim World, and its Relationship with the West

Instructor: HAYAT IMAM

Back by popular demand, we are excited to offer this introductory course again! By some accounts, over 60% of US citizens say they have never met a Muslim or know much about the religion of Islam. Yet, despite the lack of contact and interaction, a majority of Americans continue to define all Muslims as “fanatics”, “violent” and “ignorant”. This is not surprising because their impression of Muslims is derived largely from narrow and biased reporting by media and other sources. 

This course is designed to bring an alternative voice, and a glimpse of the wider, sweeping, story of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Islam is the fastest growing faith in the world. Hayat will answer questions such as: Who are we? What do Muslims find so appealing in Islam? What do we believe? What underlies Islamic culture and community? What is our experience with non-Muslims? 

As an American Muslim, who has lived and worked in many Muslim countries, Hayat will share facts and figures about Islam, as well as her personal lived experiences as a practicing Muslim, an immigrant, and a peace activist. In the brief time together, Hayat will share the story of her growing up years and the influence of her Muslim parents. From Hayat’s 40 years of disciplined study and practice of the religion, she will discuss the fundamental principles of Islam and the essence of the religion, illustrated by relevant passages from the Quran. The course will touch upon the impact of Islamic scholars on Western civilization and tackle some typical questions such as women’s status in Islam, and how Islam views violence. 

In this increasingly connected globe, it’s imperative for our survival to foster greater understanding and build bridges. This course will offer information that may feel challenging, but participants may end up being surprised and delighted to find that, beyond the differences, people have more in common than initially thought!  

Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion. Each session will include a presentation, interspersed with time for questions and answers. 

Weekly Prep: Occasional Readings

Course Dates (all sessions are Wednesdays, 7-9pm; no class April 8)

Session 1: 3/18 – Islamic Culture and the Diversity of the Muslim World

Session 2: 3/25 – What’s at the Heart of Islam

Session 3: 4/1 – The Early History of the Islamic Community, Islam’s Contributions to Civilizatio

Session 4: 4/15 – The Relationship between Muslims and the West, Historic Jewish/ Muslim Connections, Visualizing a way forward together

Course Location: 6 Webster St., Brookline in Coolidge Corner (@ Boston Workers Circle)

Registration Cost:


Sliding scale (covers all 4 classes)

Middle – High Income: $120-$160 per person
Young Adult / Low Income: $65 per person.

Cost should never be a barrier to accessing our programs so please pay what you can. If you can afford to pay the higher end of the scale, that covers the cost for those who cannot. Please email info@circleboston.org with questions about tickets.

Hayat ImamHayat Imam is an American-Muslim of Bangladeshi origin. She is a feminist-activist committed to building global social justice movements. Former Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Fund and Board Chair of Grassroots International, she is an active member of Mass Peace Action and Dorchester People for Peace. Hayat was a keynote speaker at the Boston Women’s March in January 2017 and, in the summer of 2018, at the Poor People’s Campaign on the War Economy


Wed March 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
Event Tags:


Boston Worker’s Circle
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Boston Worker’s Circle
6 Webster St
Brookline, MA 02446 United States
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