Saturday, October 11, 2003

Faith Matters: Educate yourself in Islam

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER TWP. - The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati and Miami University-Middletown are teaming up to teach about Islam.

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches (it's expected to begin on or about Oct. 26), the center will open its doors for a community class about Islam on Oct. 18.

"I think people these days have so many questions about Islam, and I think we can offer something to the community that gives them accurate information in a wonderful setting," said Shakila Ahmad, a co-chair of the center's tours and talks program and a teacher of the class.

The workshop, "Understanding our Muslim Neighbors," includes a tour of the center, 8092 Plantation Drive, West Chester, and allows attendees to meet with members of the center and learn of their focus, basic beliefs and Islamic faith practices.

The workshop will have time for discussion of common stereotypes and misconceptions as well as a Q&A session. There will be eastern refreshments afterward.

The workshop registration fee is $29 through Miami University-Middletown Campus Continuing Education. Call (513) 727-3300 or the center at 755-3280 for information.

The center is also offering two independent workshops for educators and the public: "Teaching About Islam and the Muslim World" on Oct. 23 and "Doorways to Islamic Art" on Oct. 24.

National conference to telecast from Cincinnati

More than 5,000 churches nationwide will view a live telecast of the Smalley Relationship Center's annual marriage conference, "Love, Romance and Sex: It's All God's Idea!" as it's broadcast from the Princeton Pike Church of God in Liberty Township.

"We want people to take some time away from their hectic lives and focus on their marriage, like getting a tune-up for their relationship," said Sue Head, a spokeswoman for the center.

In the past, the event has been broadcast from the Smalley Center's home in Branson, Mo., but this year they looked for another city to broadcast from and settled on Cincinnati, Head said.

The 5,400-person-capacity sanctuary at the east campus of the church, 6101 Princeton-Glendale Road, will host the two-day conference Oct. 24 and 25.

There's a separate singles event, "Don't Date Naked: Put on God's Armor" on Oct. 23 for teens, college students and singles.

The marriage session will include Gary Smalley, who has been writing and speaking about marriage for over 30 years; Greg Smalley, president of the center; and a special concert by Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman.

For more information about the live events, for tickets or to find a church with the simulcast, visit or call (866) 772-3836 .

To submit religion news, e-mail or send a fax to 755-4150.

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