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  • thursday, october 27, 2011 serving texas a&m since 1893 first paper free additional copies $1 2011 student mediathebattalion

    E mad Mousavis long journey to the God Dia-logues began in the small city of Rasht in north-ern Iran. Born the grandson of a Muslim scholar, he is the latest in a long line of such scholars in his family.

    Mousavis home city has historically possessed a bur-geoning international and open-minded culture, he said, which remained intact despite being overpowered by the Islamic conquest of Persia during the sixth century. It is not a very religious place, despite the majority of the popula-tion identifying as Muslims, but Mousavi and his ancestors have always had a strong tie to the Islamic faith.

    At the age of 13, Mousavi realized that being labeled a Muslim didnt hold special significance since so many people are born into the title.

    This realization drove his choice of, and dedication to Islam as the religion by which he would define his life. Mousavi soon found that he enjoyed studying the Quran, Islams religious text.

    It is the best defined and most original scripture, Mousavi said. There is no large-scale argument about what is in the Quran as it has always been read and written in the original wording.

    Mousavi said when he was learning about his faith, he would quietly make his way to his room every night to read and memorize one verse from the Quran.

    Although his lineage is strongly Islamic, Mousavi said his immediate family has not followed suit, making him strongly conscious of alerting his parents to his autodi-dactic religious studies. After first reading the Quran,

    Justin Mathers The Battalion

    J ohn Ferrer, an inquisitive man from a southern Christian home, knew he wanted to help people. I went into apologetics not even knowing what apologetics was. I knew I wanted to help others come to conclusions on tough questions, Ferrer said.

    Now a Christian apologist and doctoral student at Southwestern University, Ferrer will participate in the God Dialogues Thursday representing Ratio Christi, a student apologetics organization on campus. Ferrer said philoso-phy and the idea of God have intrigued him. However, it was his brothers atheistic worldview that pushed him to explore his own faith.

    He looked at the bad examples in Christianity and thought he could see through Christianity. I looked at the bad examples and look around them and found a better example, Ferrer said. He dug deep enough to find ques-tions about the faith and Id like to say I dug deeper and found hard answers underneath those tough questions.

    Ferrer teaches church history and philosophy at several schools, including Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas.

    I hope to invite the entire audience to engage in the questions that will be addressed, Ferrer said. I want them to hear what thoughtful representatives from differ-ent worldviews have to say, that way they can build their own worldviews and interrogate their particular answers on these big questions.

    Glenn Smith, a friend of Ferrer and Ratio Christi direc-tor, approached Ferrer about participating in the dialogue.

    Natalee BlanchatThe Battalion


    Islam is and can be a force of social and religious good in the world

    Christianity is for thinking people and is a reasonable, logical faith


    Join the discussionAttending the God Dialogues? Share your opinion about the panelists arguments in the comment section at thebatt.com.

    thebatt.com Las

    fotos de Barcelona!Do you daydream about foreign lands? Bianca Stewart, blogger for The Battalion, shares the sights and stories from her time in Barcelona, Spain, at thebatt.com.

    inside | 3Batman: Arkham CityODell Harmon took the latest Batman video game on a trial run. See inside for his review of the sequel to Arkham Asylum.

    When struggling in a tough class, Texas A&M students have seemingly endless tutoring possibili-ties that include free University services offered on campus.

    These services range from tutoring at the Student Learning Center, the University Writing Center or various help-desks associated with specific classes.

    Kylie Novak, an undergraduate consultant at the Texas A&M University Writing Center and senior education major, said that the purpose of the Uni-versity Writing Center is to teach students how to become better writers by altering the way they go about constructing a paper.

    Through face-to-face and online consultations, writing center consultants are able to provide stu-dents with the personalized writing help they need, Novak said. As a consultant, my goal is to help my peers become better writers rather than simply edit-ing each paper that a student shows me. I also help students with their public speaking assignments.

    Novak emphasized the importance of acknowl-edging every student as an individual in the one-on-

    one tutoring process.The University Writing Center is student-ori-

    ented, Novak said. The director and consultants work together with Texas A&M faculty toward one comprehensive goal: to help the student become an active, independent learner. The University Writing Center can help students with any kind of communi-cation project at any stage of the creative process written or oral.

    Phi Eta Sigma, an academic honor society, is an-other free, on-campus tutoring option offered to stu-dents. This program is unique because there are no restrictions to the classes that can be offered.

    Phi Eta Sigma offers tutoring to all Texas A&M students, for any class, said Adele Kurt, Phi Eta Sig-ma president.

    A spreadsheet of the members that currently offer tutoring is on the Phi Eta Sigma website, pes.tamu.edu, under the Tutoring tab. The list changes each semester, as do the classes tutored.

    Additionally, since the tutoring service is indepen-dently run, there is great flexibility in the options.

    Madeline Burns The Battalion

    Students utilize University tutoring services

    See Tutoring on page 5


    Beliefs collide as three panelists discuss heavy hitting topics likehuman morality, the nature of evil and the existence of God

    8PM RUDDER 601


    Austin BurgartThe Battalion

    The lack of strength of any other argument makes me an atheist

    S hawn Hanrahan has the air of someone who doesnt feel the need to question his religious beliefs. Representing the atheist-agnostic world-view, Hanrahan brings a laidback attitude, a steadfast commitment to his ideology and an eagerness to encour-age discussion to the God Dialogues.

    Hanrahan splits his time as an entomology doctoral student and as vice president of the Agnostic and Athe-ist Student Group on campus and considers himself an oddball atheist.

    Growing up I was more than welcome to be whatev-er I wanted, Hanrahan said. Religion never had a hold on me like many other atheists and agnostics around me. I grew up and spent my whole life in a secular household.

    Hanrahan said the issue boils down to cold hard facts.There is no evidence for religion so the lack of

    strength of any other argument makes me an atheist, Hanrahan said.

    Atheists, like Hanrahan, believe there is no God. Ag-nostics, on the other hand, do not know or hold that it is impossible to know if there is a God.

    Growing up in Texas, Hanrahan admits others often did not accept his worldview. On multiple occasions, he lost friendships because of his beliefs.

    Hanrahan was an outspoken advocate for his athe-ism in middle school. He has been making an impact on campus with the Agnostic and Atheist Student Group, facilitating group discussions at meetings for the past five semesters.

    The only time I wont mention [my beliefs] is to pre-vent a conflict, Hanrahan said. Revealing that youre an atheist doesnt always end up well; religious topics can be very taboo and therefore are not talked about as often as they should be.

    Much like the God Dialogues, Hanrahan said open and honest discussions are important for everyone.

    See Atheism on page 5

    See Christianity on page 5 See Islam on page 5

    Kolin Loveless THE BATTALION

    Students receive tutoring for chemistry, geography, math, physics and political science in Hotard Hall room 111 as a part of the free services provided by the Student Learning Center. More information about the Student Learning Center can be found at slc.tamu.edu.


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