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Pathways to Understanding

Pathways to Understanding Islam


Pathways to Understanding Islam

By: Firoz Uddin

On Sunday, January 17, 2016, the Tampa Bay Times included with its newspaper an insert titled “Pathways to Understanding”, an informative mini publication about Islam and Muslims. It is a treasure of unbiased and factual information on most facets of Islam and a Muslim’s life.

Growing Islamophobia and general false publicity about Islam in the United States and Europe has been creating dangerous intolerance and unfounded hostility against Muslims and Islam. This can lead to discrimination against Muslims in all phases of their life – employment, housing, education, social interactions, etc.

Alarmed by this, and a desire to create more tolerant, humane and progressive society, Sue Bedry of Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education program conceptualized “Pathways to Understanding”. The objective was to counter the misinformation and to replace it with accurate and unbiased facts. This, she hoped, would promote a better understanding of Islam and Muslims and would create greater harmony between all members of the society. The vehicle to achieve this objective was to publish an educational Newspaper insert, to be published in the Newspaper and distributed in most local schools.

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges program agreed to fund this project. Community Tampa Bay, whose vision is to end all forms of discrimination by cultivating inclusive leadership through dialogue and cross-culture interactions, joined hands with The Tampa Bay Times to assist in the project.

Sue Bedry conducted most of the research and writing for ‘Pathways to Understanding’.   She did an excellent job – her commitment to choosing the most pertinent subjects, conducting accurate and thorough research and her ability to present them in the most compelling and delightful manner deserve tremendous praise.

An advisory committee also guided the ‘Pathways to Understanding’ publication.   The Advisory Committee members included Jennifer Russell, Sarh Ogdie and Kaukeb Malik  fromCommunity Tampa Bay as well as a number of community brothers and sisters  includingImam Jihad Brown and Hassan Shibly of CAIR.

The “Pathways to Understanding” publication has a wealth of information about Islam and Muslims. I encourage everyone to read it, and, if you like it, send a message of appreciation to the following organizations who made it possible:

This insert can also serve as a tool of Dawah. You can obtain additional, free copies of ‘Pathways to Understanding’ and distribute them to your neighbors, co-workers and friends. Click here to download a pdf version of the insert. 

To obtain additional print copies, email: or  

or call 800-333-7505 ext.  8138.