Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson Discusses Islam and American Politics at Wheaton College
By Aabeda Masra, Public Relations Intern
CAIR-Chicago Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson presented to a class at Wheaton College on October 5th regarding Muslim perspectives on American politics.
The college offers a course called “Religion and American Politics”, which takes a look at the role of religion in American political life, focusing particularly on the contemporary era and paying specific attention to the world of evangelicals.
The class topic for the week was “Pillar of Policy: Islam.” Hankerson was invited to share his thoughts on how his Islamic faith affects his political views as well as the American Muslim community’s generally approaches government and law.
The students were presented with the general principles of Islamic law and the rights of citizens in an Islamic society. They also looked into the global and local demographics of the Muslim community, Sunni and Shi’ite schools of thought, and the rise of Islamophobia in American politics through anti-Sharia legislation.
Hankerson also talked of his own personal political beliefs, and how they have been shaped by Islam. Following the discussion, he fielded questions by the students on Islam and Shariah. “The students were definitely interested in learning more about Sharia law,” recalled Hankerson.
“It was nice to be able to share these perspectives with the students. These are view they rarely encounter. It was also a privilege to hear their questions and dialogue with them. Hopefully, I will return to continue this great discussion,” Hankerson added.
An invitation has been extended to CAIR-Chicago to present to the class again later this semester.