Ashley Baxstrom: Sure, you may have access to things like the Internet, where you can Google or search Wikipedia for Islam (actually, if you Google Islam the Wikipedia page is the first thing that shows up); you could study Islam in an academic setting; you could even become an expert with the US Department of State on Muslim outreach. But that all seems like a lot of work.
Introducing Muslim365, a smartphone application that delivers daily facts about Islam right to your hand. Developed by Web administrator Amanda Quraishi – a 37-year-old American Muslim convert of 12 years – the app shares such Islamic gems as verses from the Qur’an, explanations of Arabic words, traditions, beliefs and historical anecdotes.
Quraishi writes at her blog that, “Rather than argue with people who simply want to believe that Muslims are all violent, misogynistic, religious lunatics, I thought the best thing to do would be to communicate genuinely with moderate, intelligent folks who really want to get to know more about us.” She adds in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman (online,see link above) that the app will not force you to be “converted, indoctrinated, hypnotized, browbeat, jihad-ed, or added to an FBI watch list.”
Now, communication with moderate, intelligent people who want to expand their understanding is definitely a good thing. But what about everyone else? We may not like getting into arguments with conservatives who “want to believe” everything bad about Islam, but if education and fighting misconceptions is the goal, aren’t those people Quraishi jokes about – the people who think that Muslims, and maybe Muslim apps, want to covert or “jihad” America – exactly the kind of people she should be gearing this toward?
Muslim365 is already available for a free download to iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, with a release pending for Android phones. No word on whether Blackberries will be as un-marketed-to as non-moderates.