Speaker talks about Islam and its peaceful truth


American Muslim preacher, Yusef Estes, talks to an audience about Islam at the University of Akron on Thursday March 12, 2015.

Skye McEowen

Sheikh Yusuf Estes, an American Muslim speaker, discussed the rights of women, animals and the respect of innocent human life Thursday at an event in the Quaker Station at the University of Akron.

“How many were sure about something then found out you were wrong?” Estes said.

The crowd of roughly 300 people took the question into consideration as Estes told them about the importance of respecting the rights of living things as a central aspect of Islam, as well as understanding the justice of Allah, or god.

Estes also commented on the similarities between Muslims and Christians, though they seem drastically different at first glance.

“To go from Christianity in the west, and to go to Islam in the east, it’s almost like oil and water,” Estes said at first. “Christians are real close to Islam, you’d be surprised.”

Yusuf Estes, originally Joseph Estes, came from Texas, from a Christian family where he was devout. After travelling to Egypt one year to convert a Muslim, Estes instead converted to Islam. From there he went on to take several important roles, including being a Muslim delegate to the United Nations World Peace Conference for Religious Leaders.

A big portion of Estes’s lecture centered around women’s rights and its importance to the teachings of Islam.

“A man cannot understand the pain a woman goes through in birth,” Estes said. He then suggested the male audience try to understand the pain by grabbing their lower lip and stretching it over their head.

“Until we men (regardless of religion) can give women their rights, you don’t need to worry about religion, because it’s the same god for everybody, and he’s going to be waiting to punish you on that day of punishment. Christianity didn’t give you any permission to beat women, nor did Islam,” Estes said.

Not only with women, but Estes told the audience the importance of people’s rights in Islam, and that even animals had rights.

As his lecture neared to an end, Estes commented on dealing with Allah on the inside and abiding by the teachings of the Quran.

His lecture didn’t fail to impress the audience, where many had been looking forward to seeing him in person, and hearing him talk about the peace of Islam.

“This guy is really famous here in America. It was really exciting to see him in real life,” said Hamza Haji, a senior chemical engineer student at the University of Akron.

“I liked the way he answered questions,” said Khadija Al Habsy, a freshman mathematics major at Kent State. “Because you know the media is showing something different from what Islam is really about. We feel happy there is someone saying the truth about our religion.

Contact Skye McEowen at [email protected].