Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations…
…Everything changed when 9/11 happened. Muslims were seen as “terrorists” and Islam was an “evil” force that had to be crushed by “freedom loving people.”
When it came time to choose an academic discipline in college, I chose “Islamic studies,” not because I wanted to learn about a great religion and world civilization, but rather to work for the CIA and become a spy to nab the “bad guys.”
One of the first classes that I enrolled in at American University was “The World of Islam.” I figured this was a way for me to learn about why an event like 9/11 happened.
On the first day of class, I learned about basic Islamic principles like giving alms to charity and praying five times per day.
I was told about a hadith, or saying of the Prophet Muhammad, which stated: “the ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.”
I remember one of the Muslim students in the class standing up and reciting a Qur’anic verse, which read: “taking the life of an innocent person is like killing all of mankind.”
What I learned on that first day of class was not reflective of what you hear daily in the media about Islam and Muslims…
…However, researching Islam and becoming friends with Muslims have also come at a serious cost to my relationships and social interactions.
I have lost a good amount of friends because of my efforts in shedding a positive light on Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Fraternity brothers who do not share my political beliefs have defriended me on Facebook…
…One Christmas, a family member wanted to buy me a book that she thought would be interesting to me. It turned out that the book was “Islam For Dummies” by the anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer…
Dr. Craig Michael Considine (Irish: Carrig Micheál MacConsáidín) was born on June 10, 1985 in Newton, Massachusetts. His undergraduate and graduate years were spent in Washington, DC, London, and Dublin. From 2010 to 2014, Considine worked towards a PhD in Sociology and was a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin. While at Trinity he completed his doctoral dissertation titled, “Family, Religion, and Identity in the Pakistan Diaspora: The Lived Experiences of Young First- and Second-Generation Pakistani Muslim and Non-Muslim Men in Dublin and Boston.” He received a PhD in Sociology from Trinity College Dublin in 2015. Considine is of Irish and Italian ancestry. He currently resides in his hometown of Needham, Massachusetts.
After getting Quran 5:32 wrong (and apparently never learning about in his further studies) he then makes another mistake.
The book “Islam for Dummies” is by someone called Malcolm Clark. Spencer’s book is called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam.” Not a very rigorous scholar.