Celebrating Islam Month

Celebrating the Islamic faith has been the focus of a number of events hosted by the Muslim Student Association this month.

These events have included videos, conversations and presentations that honor the faith and educate people on different elements of what it means to be Muslim. These events provide attendees the opportunity to learn what Islam is and how people live out this faith through interaction with Muslim people and discussion of current topics.

“Now, looking back at all the events, they’re all conversational,” said Bayan Fares, vice president of MSA. This was a common theme no matter the topic of the event, whether it be about politics, morality or beauty.

“It’s not just one person going up there and speaking to everyone,” she said. “It’s just kind of like we’re here to show you, we’re here to engage.”

On Monday, April 3, there was a screening and discussion of “Black Mirror” in the Gandhi-King Center. After the showing, participants discussed the ethics of the show and the ethical system and outlook of Islam.

One of the more conversational events, “Candid Spaces: Discussing the Role of Interfaith in a Divided America” took place in the Brown and Gold Room of the Harre Union on Thursday, April 13. This event was a discussion of modern religious plurality, as well as Islamic history on this matter.

“We’re not all the same,” said Eman Akbik, president of MSA. “There are Muslims literally all over the world that if you put them all in a room, even visibly they all don’t look the same or even the way they believe and the way they practice (are not the same), even though there’s obviously core beliefs.”

The most recent of these events was a conversation and panel called “American Political Culture and Being Religious in Public” that was held in the Mueller Hall Commons on Monday, April 17.

Fielding the question of how religion fits into American politics were Samuel Graber, assistant professor of humanities and literature, Slavica Jakelic, assistant professor of humanities and social thought, and Melanie Trexler, assistant professor of theology. They then proceeded to direct conversation between themselves and the students at the event.

The final event of Celebrating Islam Month will be held Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in Mueller Hall 140. Titled “Beauty and the Arts in Islam,” the event will include presentations of Islamic art, poetry and videos.

MSA hopes these events will teach people about the many different parts of Islam and the way that it is lived out by people who follow the religion.

“Islam is a really, really holistic way of being,” said Yamen Atassi, MSA treasurer. “It addresses all of the aspects of the human beingーthat you have a body, and you have a soul, and you have a mind, and that you need to address all of these aspects of your being.”

Through their events, MSA aims to share and celebrate this beauty and complexity in the Islamic faith.

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