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Muslim students promote awareness

Mills College Weekly

The Muslim Students Association was created for Muslim students
who felt a lack of support and community at Mills. The association
was formed to unite Muslim groups, to educate the Mills community,
as well as themselves, about the nation of Islam. The Muslim
Students Association is a culturally diverse group whose bonding
force is Islam. Not limiting themselves to Muslim students, they
welcome all who are interested to come and learn about Islam.

“It gives us a sense of community,” said Maliaka Fisher. The
Muslim Students Association feels that education about Islam is the
only way to undermine stereotypes about Muslims.

The Muslim Students Association is actively fighting ignorance
and stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the American media,
such as the idea that Muslim women are enslaved and that all
Muslims are terrorists. The group has been labeled as an “Islamic
jihad” when one member mentioned the creation of the

“We hope to break stereotypes about the Muslim Community,
especially after 9/11,” said Fiza Asar.

Some steps that the Muslim Students Association have been taking
towards educating the community include activities and guest
speakers to raise Islamic awareness during Ramadan, which began on
Oct. 27 and ends on Nov. 21.

Ramadan is a month long fast that Muslims practice in order to
become more in tune with their spirituality. During Ramadan, eating
is prohibited during daylight hours; sexual activity and smoking
are also prohibited throughout the whole month. Muslims use this
time to focus on spirituality, adding an extra prayer, as well as
visiting the Mosque more frequently and re-reading the Koran in
order to find more meaning.

This tradition can be paralleled to the Christian practice of
observing Lent. The main difference is that during Lent, Christians
give up one type of food or behavior for the 40 days between Ash
Wednesday and Easter, whereas in Ramadan, fasting consists of not
eating, as well as the restriction of certain behaviors.

Not all Muslims are expected to fast; those who are excepted
from fasting are children, elderly, or adults who have health
problems that prevent them from fasting (such as diabetes).

The Muslim Students Association have invited former ambassador
to Iraq, Barbara lee, and Amitullah Alagie-Sabrie, a woman who was
a teenager in New York when Malcolm X was assassinated to speak
throughout Ramadan. Alagie-Sabrie will be speaking about her
journey to the nation of Islam. All of the speakers will be
presenting during the month of Ramadan with dates to be announced.
The Muslim Students Association meets every Monday from 12:15-1:00
p.m. in the Tea Shop. Upcoming events will be posted around campus
and in the F.Y.I. section.

For any questions regarding the Muslim Students Association,
contact Zarena Osmani at .