Muslim students talk faith

The Muslim Students Association of Oakland University is working to try to correct public perceptions of Islam that it feels are misguided 


MSA are voicing this message in observation of Islam Awareness Week, which started this Monday with a lecture by Muslim faculty member Achmat Salie.  


Muslim students will give a “Diversity of the Muslim World” presentation, followed by a Q&A session, on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Oakland Center’s Fireside Lounge.


Adam Siddiqi, president of MSA, said Muslim students from different Muslim-majority countries, including Bosnia, Oman, India, and Kenya, will talk about life is in Muslim countries.


Students can observe  Muslim students during one of their five daily prayers at 1:30-2:15 p.m. in rooms 128-129 in the OC. Professor Sayed Nassar will give the sermon.


Friday at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge, the week’s keynote speech will be presented, followed by a Q&A session and closing remarks.


Siddiqi said that Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, will give the speech “Islam: Friend or Foe?”


“Getting to the bottom of the controversy” surrounding Islam is the point of the talk, Siddiqi said. It’s about “making people think about the negative stereotypes” and whether or not they are true.


Monday, Salie, director of OU’s Islamic Studies program spoke about Islam and Muslims at an event attended by about 40 people.


Salie said that Islam is a religion of peace, that there are different interpretations of Islam, and that because some Muslims do bad things does not mean Islam is a bad religion.


“Today, the biggest issue is ignorance, which leads to bigotry,” he said. “Islam is a mosaic, not a monolith … Human beings are so diverse … If we can respect that, we can have more harmony in the world.”


He said things such as terrorist attacks and the Fort Wood massacre are “mindless killings; Islam would forbid that.”


Student Shakita Billy asked about things like arranged marriages of minor children and limited freedom of women.


Salie said that there are many different faces of Islam so it’s difficult to comment on it, but said that we “often take the best of our culture and compare it to the worst of another culture.”