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"Inside Islam" film screening & discussion

When Mar 29, 2011
from 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Decorah Public Library
Contact Name
Contact Phone 563-382-3717
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Inside Islam 032911


The Northeast Iowa Peace & Justice Center and Decorah Public Library are hosting a free public film screening and discussion entitled “Inside Islam” at 7 p.m. Tuesday March 29 on the 2nd floor of the library.  Dr. Robert Shedinger, Head of the Religion Department at Luther College, will lead the discussion.  

The 2009 documentary “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” presents the findings of Gallup researchers, who began by asking the questions “Why is there so much anti-Americanism in the Muslim world? Who are the extremists and how do Muslims feel about them? What do Muslims like and dislike about the West? What do Muslim women really want?”

Crucial policy decisions hang on these questions; they continue to generate passionate disagreements in the public square. Yet for all the controversy, the actual views of the world’s Muslims have been conspicuously missing from the debate.

As part of this groundbreaking six-year project, Gallup conducted tens of thousands of interviews with residents in 35 predominantly Muslim nations, as well as smaller populations in Europe and the United States. The broad extent of the polling has delivered findings for the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims with a plus or minus accuracy of three percent.

Focusing on the issues of gender justice, terrorism, and democracy, the film shows how this data challenges the popular notion that Muslims and the West are on a collision course. Like the research itself, the film highlights a shared relationship that is based on facts, not fear.

Discussion facilitator Robert Shedinger is an Associate Professor of Religion and Head of the Religion Department at Luther College. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Temple University and a Master of Divinity from Palmer Seminary. He is the author or editor of three books and numerous articles including his latest book Was Jesus a Muslim? Questioning Categories in the Study of Religion. Since the publication of Was Jesus a Muslim? Shedinger has been invited to speak in mosques across America and Canada. 

The Northeast Iowa Peace & Justice Center, Inc. (NEIPJC) is a new community initiative growing out of the ministries of the Decorah Area Faith Coalition and others interested in peace and justice. Its mission is to provide a permanent non-profit, nonpartisan, interfaith resource center for the counties of NE Iowa, furthering peaceful conflict resolution, compassion and social justice, human rights, interfaith cooperation, and sustainable environmental justice.

Contact Kristin Torresdal at 563-382-3717 or for more information about the March 29 program. Contact Mike Blevins at for more information about the NEIPJC.