Muslim Student Association discusses the misconceptions of Islam
Southeast’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) gathered students to talk about the misconceptions of Islamic culture on April 10 in the University Center program lounge.
Ahmad Sheikh who works at Saint Francis Medical Center and is active in the Islamic community led the discussion. He began with a TED Talk by Naveen Zafar called “Islam Through a Different Lens.”
Sheikh touched on topics such as terminology, beliefs, dimensions and pillars.
MSA president Shadan Roumany said she thought it was important to host this event to bring awareness to the organization on campus as well as bring Muslims together.
She said she struggles when it comes to noticing the views others have on the Islamic community. But when others bring them to her attention they are typically misconceptions of terrorism in the media such as ISIS, women not having rights and beliefs you will be condemned for wrongdoing.
Roumany also said she thought it would be good to clear up any misconceptions or questions others may have about the Islamic culture.
“The misconceptions are present, and that's OK, but we can address and fix them,” Roumany said.
She said she hopes that what people took away from this discussion had an impact.
“I kind of wanted them to take just one thing that they either learned about Islam or something that they thought about women or terrorism and something that they didn't know,” Roumany said.
As the discussion went on Sheikh opened the floor to ask students and others who attended their thoughts on topics.
Topics such as similarities and differences in Christianity and Islam beliefs arose when the floor opened up for questions.
It was said the biggest difference between Christianity and Islam is Christians believe Jesus was the son of God while Muslims only believe that he was another prophet. Christians and Muslims share similar beliefs such as the belief of one God and practices of engaging only in righteous actions.
Roumany said she thought the message would come across clearly when everyone was given the opportunity to talk back and forth.
Freshman Rose Givens said she already had a good view of the Islamic community but came to learn more.
“I learned a lot about Muslim culture that I didn't know, and how beliefs of Muslims and Christians are very similar, but only a few things are different,” Givens said.
Givens said she thought it was important to attend this event to help support other cultures on campus.
Xiabai Baker is a new member of MSA and said he felt the event made it easy to branch out to people of all cultures.
“This event made me feel pretty good because it’s not easy to talk to different people who have different religions or different perspectives,” Baker said.
Roumany said she doesn’t see the misconceptions others have on the Islamic culture much besides when people talk to her personally.
MSA will be having a meeting on Monday, April 15 at 6 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau.