Speaker returns to UMaine to talk about Islam

Posted April 05, 2011, at 10:10 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — A motivational speaker from Columbus, Ohio, will return Friday to the University of Maine for Islamic Awareness Week.

On Saturday, Mohamed Diini, 28, will visit the Islamic Center of Maine, 151 Park St., Orono.

Diini will talk about “Islamic Principles” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Room 100 of the Donald P. Corbett building. He will meet with the Greater Bangor Muslim community at the mosque in Orono to discuss “Unity in Islam” from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Born in Somalia, Diini came to the U.S. at the age of 13. He was in high school in suburban Washington, D.C., when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred. He said last year when he visited the university that he went from explaining the tenets of his faith to half a dozen friends to speaking to thousands of people in a few years.

Today, he travels the world as an educational and motivational speaker.

One question he often talks about is the meaning of the word “jihad.” It has been improperly translated as “holy war,” Diini said last year, but those two words are not in the Quran, Islam’s holy book.

“‘Jihad’ is mentioned many times in the Quran,” he said, “but it means to struggle against something. If someone invades my home and in defending myself I am killed, I would have died in the path of jihad. Most often, it is used to refer to the struggle of the soul against the temptations of the devil.”

Diini’s visit is sponsored by UMaine’s Muslim Student Association and the Islamic Center of Maine.

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