Finally, sampling some of the ways in which Muslims are working to provide positive role models for their children, and present mainstream views of Islam to non-Muslims using the tools of popular culture, TED speakers provide hope for a future in which non-Muslims and Muslims may work together to realize those shared values.
Independent scholar and TED speaker Lesley Hazleton undertook a study of the Qur'an — the sacred scripture of Islam — in order to write a biography of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and discovered that it was a challenging task indeed.
Written by the educators who created Understanding Islam, a brief look at the key facts, tough questions and big ideas in their field.
Begin this TED Study with a fascinating read that gives context and clarity to the material.
The powerful imagery, especially of these early chapters of the Qur'an, is conveyed most effectively by the human voice.
The art of Qur'an recitation is among Islam's most cherished, and gifted Qur'an reciters can achieve fame worldwide.References to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, and Jesus, for example, thus appear frequently but not in chronological order.The Qur'ân also refers to prophets unknown to Jews and Christians, but all prophets are believed to have preached the same message of social justice as a reflection of true belief.As a result, the Qur'an does not recount their historic narratives.Instead, it uses characters and events familiar to Jews and Christians to make specific moral or theological points.Presenting Islam as Muslims perceive it, beginning with the Qur'an (Islam's sacred scripture; "Koran" in archaic spelling), TED speakers allow us to appreciate that Islam shares its major prophets and core values with Judaism and Christianity.Tracing the historic origins of radicalism, they also reveal the key distinctions between mainstream Islamic values and those motivating headline-grabbing extremists.Without this background, it's difficult to comprehend the vehemence of contemporary Muslim struggles for good governance, much less reactions to insults to Islam, its scripture, and prophet.The TEDTalks presented here provide a framework for meeting that challenge.(Among other vestiges of this era is the saying, "If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad will go to the mountain." This was the punch line in a story about Muhammad's failed effort to prove he was a prophet by commanding a mountain to come to him.) In the modern era the British struggled to maintain their control over Arab and Indian lands, derisively referred to by Rudyard Kipling as the "white man's burden." The young Winston Churchill wrote of Sudanis resisting British conquest, "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedianism lays on its votaries!" He included among them "fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog." (Sir Winston Churchill; (, 1st ed., London 1899, II:248) The French felt compelled to undertake a "civilizing mission" among Africans, including the Muslim North Africans, casting those who preferred to rule themselves as insurgents and terrorists.