Religion

Oh My Gods

Jan 1, 2012

The Greek and Roman myths have never died out; in fact they are as relevant today as ever. In his new book Oh My Gods, Phillip Freeman retells some of the most popular myths that have inspired plays, operas, paintings, movies and television programs. From the astonishing tales of the Argonauts to the immortal narrative of the Battle of Troy, these ancient myths have inspired many across the globe. Freeman is Qualley Professor of Classics at Luther College.

This week, Rob Dillard's series, "Being Muslim in Iowa," has highlighted Iowa's rich Muslim history. It's a history that includes the establishment of the Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids nearly eighty years ago. This hour we'll explore Iowa's Muslim connections. We'll talk with Lisa Killinger, an Iowa woman who was raised Episcopalian and eventually converted to Islam. Also, Professor Mahmoud Hamed of Drake University and Miriam Amer, Executive Director of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

All this week, Iowa Public Radio reporter Rob Dillard has been exploring what it means to be Muslim in Iowa. Much of his reporting for this series has taken him to metropolitan areas, where most of the state’s Muslims live. But to conclude the week, Rob travels to a berg in northeast Iowa where one Muslim man has found a home.

Iowa Public Radio continues its week-long series called “Being Muslim in Iowa.” Reporter Rob Dillard has traveled extensively around the state, meeting a few of the estimated 20,000 Iowans who follow Islam. Most of these people have practiced the faith all of their lives, growing up in families who stretch their roots to the Middle East, Africa or Eastern Europe. But a handful of Iowans have converted to Islam from other religions. Today, Rob introduces us to three of them.

We’re looking at the lives of Muslims in Iowa this week. So far, reporter Rob Dillard has traced the history of Islam in the state, which dates back to the 19th century. He’s also asked a few Muslims living here why public opinion goes against their faith. Today, he looks at how Islam determines what food Muslims eat. The diets for strict adherents of Islamic law are free of pork and alcohol.  Today, Rob visits an eastern Iowa company that’s in the business of ensuring the food consumed by Muslims in the state and around the world meets this guideline. 

Iowa Public Radio is taking a look this week at Muslims living in the state. Opinion polls indicate Americans remain conflicted over Islam a decade after the terrorist attacks of 9-11. A survey by the Pew Research Center a year ago shows the percentage of people in the U.S. with a favorable opinion of Islam has tumbled from 41 percent in 2005 to 30 percent.  Muslims have been put on the defensive in recent years, asked to defend Islam against charges it’s a violent religion.

Today, Iowa Public Radio returns to its series, "Being in Iowa." Reporter Rob Dillard brings us the first of five installments on what it means to be Muslim in the state. A majority of Americans say they know very little about Islam. In fact, a recent Pew Research Poll showed a quarter of those surveyed said they knew nothing at all about the religion, which is followed by one-and-a-half billion people in the world. Muslims make up a small portion of Iowa’s population, well below one percent.

This weekend, Iowans are remembering the visit of Pope John Paul the Second during his first year as leader of the Catholic Church. It was 30 years ago when the Pope stopped at a country parish near Cumming. Later, Living History Farms was overwhelmed by more than 300,000 people who attended a Papal Mass. Original audio from the historic occasion was recorded on Oct. 4th, 1979.

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