A student organization at the University of Illinois is hosting a week-long group of festivities on the Urbana-Champaign campus in order for students to learn about Islam.
Each day, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) will observe its own theme that, according to the group’s Facebook page, is intended for “helping our fellow students on campus gain a better understanding of Islam.”
From Oct. 9th to 14th, Islam Awareness Week will encompass an event focusing on the topic of “What Makes a Muslim? Exploring The Principles of Islam.”
“It’s really important for us to just get the word out about what (it is like to be) Muslim, since a lot of people have misconceptions on what (it is like to be) Muslim,” Social Work junior Anushah Malik expressed to The Daily Illini. Malik also serves as the Outreach Chair for the MSA at the university.
On Monday, the MSA started off the week with “Wear a Hijab Day.” The four-hour event, hosted on UI’s main quad, consisted of MSA students handing out complimentary scarves as well as cotton candy. Students also had the opportunity to practice wearing a hijab, with help from MSA students. Later that day, students focused on the “modesty in Islam” between men and women.
“We basically pass hijab to girls so they can experience what it’s like,” Malik explained. “Trying (on the) hijab and attending the events (can show) what (being) Muslim is about.”
According to the UI MSA website, the overall mission of the organization is to act as the “stepping stone by which students learn the techniques, develop the motivation, and acquire the passion to commit their lives for the sake of Allah and Allah alone.”
“This week is our chance to show everyone what (being) Muslim is about,” Malik stated. “Muslims are just normal people. You shouldn’t believe what’s on TV; that’s the wrong image.”