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Islam Beyond Sects


((PKG)) LIBERAL MUSLIM
((Banner: Islam Beyond Sects))
((Reporter/Camera:
Arturo Martinez))
((Map:
Los Angeles, California))
((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

We have to understand the institution of marriage. In the modern times it’s not the same as in the time of the Prophet. In fact, it wasn't even the same 100 years ago.

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

My name is Zaman Stanizai. I consider myself more of a freelance Muslim as far as sectarian differences are concerned. So, I attend different mosques and IMAN Center is one of those. I was invited to participate in the Quranic forum here.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

What people do in most Muslim societies is that they take the exception as the law and the law as the exception.

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

I'm neither Shia nor Sunni. When Afghanistan was invaded, about a year after the Soviet invasion, I had to leave, like most everyone else who feared for their life. That brought me back to the United States.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))
The stigma that is attached to Islam these days was not there. Everything was wonderful until the 9-11 and the rest of the story which turned everything upside down.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))
I can't take responsibility for the action of someone else simply because they look like me or they come from the part of the world I come from or they share a, say, religious identity with me.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

Why I chose Los Angeles? I think it's because of this cosmopolitan nature. Here I can go to a church, to a synagogue, to a mosque, to a gurudwara. I could go to any temple and the doors are open.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

Long time no see. How are you?

If I'm driving, and it's time for prayer, I pray while I'm driving. I can have perfect concentration. When you're worshipping a God that does not have form, then why should we stick to the form?

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

I am a professor. I've taught for a little over half century in Afghanistan and in many institutions of higher learning here in the United States and Southern California.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

For one, if they had them so meaningfully before the war, there will be no war, right?

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

Currently I teach Islamic traditions and political science. If you can analyze issues facing them on the human behavior, a lot of these world conflicts could be solved diplomatically, peacefully, instead of resorting to wars. So, that's how I use the Islamic dimension in the political science courses.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

Understand confusion, right? It's the name of your best teacher in life.

((NATS))

((Zaman Stanizai , Professor, California State University))

I approach Quran analytically. I study it. When I've questions, I go there. Sometimes people may not see me as their "ideal” type of Muslim and I don't care because my faith in God is between me and God, not between me and anyone else. Any level of identifying yourself with a smaller group, we are narrowing that window of seeing the universal divine.

((NATS))



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