The evening started surprisingly slow and revealed that both Dr. Kollar and Dr. Shafiq were unprepared for the event. Neither brought one thing to share with the audience besides themselves. There was a projector for a professional presentation available as well as an ELMO for sharing hard copy information. As an author I was embarrassed for them as this was a highly unprofessional presentation, I have done numerous book talks and not once did I come so unprepared!
Dr. Kollar stated at the beginning of this meeting that he and Dr. Shafiq had been working on the Hickey Interfaith Center for 15 years at Nazareth College of Rochester.
They talked about the importance of interfaith dialogue and asked why we came to listen to them. I openly stated my name and that I am an author, and was concerned that this was a platform for Civilization Jihad and that I wanted to hear him address the section in his book that claims Jesus led a jihad.
When the began to talk about the scriptures of each religion, Dr. Kollar spoke of the Tanak (the law, the prophets and the writings), what Christians refer to as the Old Testament and when he spoke of the Bible he stated they were written by men. When he referred to the Koran he stated it was given by God. Our local media representative, Shannon Joy of WYSL stopped him and said Christians and Jews believe their scriptures come from God not man. Dr. Kollar apologized stating he did not mean to say otherwise.
It was then that I also contributed, but the Koran as Dr. Shafiq states, was given not by God, but by an angel. I pointed out that these two entities are not the same. Christians and Jews believe their scriptures are inspired by God and were not given by angels. However Islam has quite the different story. This was quickly brushed off as semantics. Dr. Kollar served as an apologist for Islam stating that this is pretty much the same thing.
The other Christian present also pointed out that Dr. Shafiq could not have this discussion in his own home country and likely would be killed for daring to have it, this Christian stated that Islam needs to deal with the violent actions of those who are Muslim in Muslim countries to have a serious discussion in interfaith when including Islam.
Dr. Kollar led the discussion to talking about the importance of dialogue and honesty in the dialogue. That was when I had to speak up. That is what the letter below is all about. Please read this and write to Dr. Daan Braveman about your concerns regarding this matter.
Dear President Braaveman and Board of Trustees:
Last night Dr. Muhammad Shafiq presented at the Brighton Public Library on his latest book with Dr. Nathan Kollar, professor emeritus of St. John Fischer College. I went with interest since my last encounter with Dr. Shafiq proved rather revealing.
Dr. Nathan Kollar talked about the importance of honesty in interfaith relations. I shared that this is an important point “since in my last encounter with Dr. Shafiq, I asked what Islam means and he replied peace.” I continued, “I told Dr. Shafiq to stop lying and tell people what it means in Arabic” and explained that Dr. Shafiq paused and said “Submission.” I stated that I have grave concerns when someone who is supposed to be teaching kids (college age) is lying to people about the religion he is supposed to be teaching. Dr. Shafiq replied in front of 20 people, “Islam means the same thing as shalom.” I am no fool. I have a BA in Religion and Philosophy with extensive training in Hebrew. I also have at my disposal an expert in Arabic who will also communicate that Dr. Shafiq’s HIGHLY OFFENSIVE equation of submission andshalom is nothing other than a purposeful lie!
Due to the blatant lie of Dr. Muhammad Shafiq of Nazareth College of Rochester to the public, I have great concerns about what he is teaching to anyone who is not a Muslim. I understand that lying to non-Muslims about what they believe is part of their faith, they have a doctrine called taqiyyah. BUT, when a person who is paid to run an inter-faith center and teaches young impressionable minds at a college is caught lying about the very topic he was hired to teach I am concerned.
Can Nazareth College of Rochester knowingly continue a relationship with a man who openly lies to non-Muslims in public forums about what Islam teaches? As a NAZ graduate myself, I HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS THAT A PERSON PRACTICING TAQIYYA IS AFFILIATED WITH NAZARETH!
You should know a member of the Press was there last night and this is likely to be a discussion on her radio show, especially after both the presenters talked about the importance of honesty in interfaith discussions!