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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Muslim association promotes awareness about Islam in April

Muslim Student Association will be presenting Islam Awareness Month throughout April. Its purpose is to reach Aggies and the community and help them understand the religion of Islam.
“The theme this year is ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Chains.’ We are building bridges of communication and understanding while breaking the chains of fear and hatred that may exist between the Muslims and the non-Muslims,” Maryam Ahmed, secretary of MSA, said. “We are also focusing on the commonalities between Muslims and other faiths, and shattering the stereotypes.”
Four main events are organized as the focus of IAM. The first event will be cultural displays in the main hallway of the Memorial Student Center Tuesday. Students can learn about the Islamic culture and interact with Muslim students at the displays.
The documentary “Cities of Lights: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain” will be shown Thursday in the Memorial Student Center.
“It [the documentary] focuses on the peak of the civilization in Muslim Spain and how a fragile union of Muslims, Christians and Jews existed in harmony, how the civilization thrived and essentially how it planted the seeds of the Renaissance,” Ahmed, junior international studies major, said.
A lecture based on “Bridging the Gaps: Islam, Judaism and Christianity” will take place April 15 explaining the commonalities between the religions. It will be conducted by Ahmed Al Guindy, a visiting mathematics professor from Egypt.
The final event will be a panel discussion, “Liberated: A Dialogue with Muslims.” It will serve as an opportunity for students to interact with panelists, put forth questions about Islam and interact with Muslim students on a one-on-one basis.
We want people to walk out [of the panelist discussion] and be able to say, ‘I’ve met a real Muslim,’ so that if they ever hear or see anything that is contrary to their own personal experience, they can analyze that in a more educated and informed manner. We hope to help improve the campus atmosphere to make it more comfortable, friendly and welcoming for all,” Ahmed said.
IAM originated from other Islam Awareness Weeks that Muslim organizations have throughout the nation. At A&M, this week has been extended into a month so that the student population can have more opportunities to learn. There are many characteristics of IAM that interconnect to other matters of society, including diversity.
“The best aspect of Islamic Awareness Month is the diversity,” said Ammar Munshi, president of MSA and a senior mechanical engineering major. “When you come to one of our programs, especially those like the panel discussion, you’ll see that Muslims come from all backgrounds. On any given Friday during our weekly service, you will see that our community has Muslims from at least 30 different nations. IAM shows that there is more to the face of a Muslim than what is seen on TV.”

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