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The Oakland Post

Islamic Awareness Week promotes religious understanding

Medina Taylor, Distribution Director

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The Muslim Student Association hosted Islamic Awareness Week on campus March 6-10. The events allowed Oakland University students to interact with and learn about the religion.

According to Pew Research Center, Islam is the second-largest religion by population in the world (after Christianity), and there were 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S. as of 2015. 

The MSA welcomes both Muslim and non-Muslim student members. Its focuses are getting rid of negative stereotypes and assisting students in need. During Islamic Awareness Week, the MSA joined with other student organizations to help remind the campus community of the importance of diversity.

Islamic Awareness Week was kicked off Monday, March 6, when four women from the MSA held a panel called “Women in Islam.” The panel’s primary topic was professional experiences of Muslim women and related difficulties.

Following the panel, the week’s other events included Tuesday’s “Hadiths and Gifts” — a collection of traditions and sayings — and Wednesday’s “Islamic Calligraphy,” which were both held in the Oakland Center. The calligraphy event showcased the artistic practice of writing in Arabic from left to right.

On Thursday, additional student organizations including InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Jewish Student Organization came together to hold a discussion titled “Religion: From Misconception to Diversity and Unity.”

A variety of religions, such as Christianity, share similar historical events with Islam.

“The Islamic faith does not view Jesus as the son of God, but as a prophet and a messenger, just like prophet Muhammad,” explained Mahnoor Haq, a member of the MSA.

Hanna Boussi, a sophomore at OU and distributor at The Oakland Post, said she enjoyed the discussion and appreciated that students were able to ask questions about common misconceptions.

Students across the campus community partook in the events, and they even had the chance to try on the Islamic headdress called a hijab.

According to the Arabs in America website, the hijab is a cultural practice and represents a commitment to modesty and piety.

Sophomore Alex Garman said she enjoyed trying on a hijab and could see the difficulty of wearing one every day.

The last day of Islamic Awareness Week was celebrated with an early afternoon prayer called Jummah Salah, which students were invited to participate in and observe.

All in all, the week was beneficial for students seeking a religion of their choice or simply trying to learn more about religions other than their own.

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