16 February 2010

Asalaamu alaikum....

It has been a while since I posted a blog, but that is because I've been very busy, masha'Allah. As mentioned before, the Islamic Ummah Club became official this semester at my college...alhamdulilah! Well, I've been busy with classes and with the club. Oh, and a social justice retreat that I attended as well. So, let me try to catch you up on everything, insh'Allah.

First, I'll talk about the retreat. The retreat was organized by many of the colleges in PA, and was held in Altoona. It lasted from Friday until Sunday and we learned about social injustice in America. We learned about oppression, and how to become an ally for non-privileged group, etc. Let me explain about the privileged classes. In America, we have different classes...whether based on race, gender, socio-economic class, religion, etc. Some classes are considered "privileged" (i.e. caucasions; men; affluent; Christians; etc). Most of us fit into at least one of the privileged classes, but we can learn to be allies with others in the non-privileged class. For example, I am white, that is the privileged class I fall into...but, I can be an ally to those that are not white, by doing things like speaking out when someone tells a racist joke. That's just one small example. I watched a movie on how entertainment (particularly hip-hop, but any sort of media as well really), really oppresses people...with the language; the misogyny; etc (what I really found interesting about the movie was it pointed out that the people that own hip-hop labels, or magazines, etc tend be older, rich, white men). We also discussed how to be more effective leaders by being and teaching tolerance. Anyhow, it was an excellent experience, and I met so many wonderful people. Later, in another blog post, insh'Allah, I will tell you about the game we played called "Archie Bunker's Neighborhood"...right now I'm pressed for time and want to tell you the rest of what has been going on.

Last month I was interviewed for the school newspaper about the Islamic Ummah Club, masha'Allah. The article was printed in this month's school paper. Alhamdulilah, the article, overall, was wonderful. The writer did a fantastic job, I think, masha'Allah. However, there has been some issues with the article...not because of the writer...but because she also talked to the President and VP of the Christian Student Fellowship Club, and quoted them as well. What they had to say was not very flattering. The Pres of the CSF, when asked if he would ever be willing to work with the Islamic Ummah Club on multi-faith projects/fundraisers, he said no, they would never work with us. The VP (and Student Gov't Senator) commented that he thinks the IUC will lead people away from God and "to hiding explosives under their jackets." He also said that Muslims are afraid of "their" God and that we are out to make our God happy...he stated "I don't know what that entails, but one thing is martyrdom I think." First, let me say, I am VERY glad the writer put this in the article. In the beginning of the article, I am quoted as saying the purpose of the club is to help educate non-Muslims about Islam and to help overcome these misconceptions. These quotes clearly illustrate the reason we established this club. Secondly, I am sure they are not the only ones on campus that believe these things about Islam...however, most people will just keep it to themselves instead of saying something aloud....so this gives us the chance to bring these issues out in the open so we can address them, masha'Allah. I'm pleased to say that the SGA (Student Gov't) Pres and VP both have apologized to our club (even though they had nothing to do with the quotes) and said they are reporting this to the Ethics and PR committees on campus. The PR person also told me that they will be printing a public apology to the club and all Muslims in next month's paper. A small group of us from the club approached the VP of the CSF and we explained to him that Islam does not teach, nor condones, terroristic acts; and I personally invited him to our meetings (although I seriously doubt he will ever come).

The other thing I wanted to mention was that today we had our first fundraiser. It was a bake and food sale. It went wonderfully, alhamdulilah! We had rice and (halal) beef; we had couscous with chicken; naan and hummus, and an assortment of desserts. We sold out of the entrees...and early on! So, insh'Allah, the next time we have a food sale, we will have to make more food. :) I was so excited about how well it turned out. We made almost $300! Allahu akbar!

So, that is about everything for now. I wanted to update you all on what has been going on. May Allah (SWT) continue to guide and bless us all, Ameen.


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