Understanding Muslims: Dr. Zeyneb Sayilgan

Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. Their growth and regional migration, combined with the ongoing impact of extremist groups that commit violence in their name, have brought Muslims and their faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries, including the United States.

A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2017 asked Americans to rate members of nine religious groups on a “feeling thermometer” from 0 to 100, where 0 reflects the most negative rating. Overall, Americans gave Muslims an average rating of 48, lower than atheists. Half of Muslim Americans say it’s hard to be Muslim in the U.S. due to discrimination against their religion, President Donald Trump, and Americans who don’t see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society. But an almost equal and growing number said Americans are generally friendly to them. And nearly all are proud to be American.

In our Union matters! podcast, Dr. Zeyneb Sayilgan who teaches Islamic theology and religious pluralism at Virginia Theological Seminary,  spoke with Union Presbyterian Seminary Professor of Christian Missions Stan Skreslet about being Muslim and her passion to help people understand different faith traditions.

She also presented a lecture on “The First Muslim Refugees in the Christian Kingdom of Abyssinia: Implications for Christian-Muslim Relations Today” at Union’s 2018 Dawe Lecture.