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Series on Understanding Islam

Photo of presenter Susan van BaalenSister Susan Van Baalen, OP, PhD, offers “Understanding Islam,” a series of talks aimed at helping participants understand Muslims in the United States and around the world. The talks are at Weber Retreat and Conference Center from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, January 21, 2020, through February 11, 2020.

The schedule for the series is as follows:

  • January 21, 2020: Introduction to Sunni and Shia Muslims and Ethnic Kurds. Sister Susan reviews the pillars of Islam and the differences in beliefs and practices of the Sunni and Shia Muslims throughout the world.
  • January 28, 2020: Geo-Political Islam. Sister Susan describes the ways that geography, economics, and politics shape the Islamic world.
  • February 4, 2020: Exactly Who Are American Muslims? This session identifies the common characteristics of U.S. Muslims and the richness of their diverse beliefs and practices.
  • February 11, 2020: Islamic Extremism. Sister Susan explores how Islamic extremism is more closely tied to geopolitics than to religion and discusses Shia extremism identified as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Sister Susan developed an interest in world religions while creating and implementing policies and procedures to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of more than 100,000 prisoners throughout the United States.

The cost is $30 for the series or $10 for individual sessions. Registration is required and is available at; click on “programs.” Registration is also available by calling 517-266-4000 or emailing Limited scholarships are available.

Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000.

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