Ray Alcodray: ″Could not agree more with this insightful viewpoint and article″

on: "God is not a dictator'', interview with Mouhanad Khorchide

My wife and I, after raising 5 children through a variety of American mosques and schools, realised the lack of substance and poisonous views that were being spread in the minds of the young.

As a result, we founded and ran our own Sunday school for 8 years to counter this anathema in our religion. Our objectives were to create "thinking" Muslims by giving them the following:

1. an American Muslim Identify,

2. core Islamic knowledge, and

3. application in everyday life.

We did not allow our teachers to use the word "haram" unless they had read it in the Koran while studying a sura, nor did we allow our teachers to speak of hellfire or damnation, but rather to emphasise Allah's love and mercy.

None of our morning lectures or lesson plans including any politics whatsoever and we did not distinguish Muslims by national identify or sect.

We also educated and helped de-programme our young students from a variety of social norms that were not helpful. For example, dropping the use of words that were not well understood and were being overused such as "haram" to chastise someone or "Wallah" to swear an oath.

These subtle yet important lessons helped calibrate our students toward a newfound respect for their religion, a filter for identifying man-made dogma and a strong and loving bond with their creator.

As a result, our school was highly successful and we were fortunate to have over 700 students pass through our classes. We would like to see more schools and institutions foster this viewpoint and approach.


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