Spotlight: Muslim Student Association

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Spotlight: Muslim Student Association

Osob Abas, Arts & Entertainment Writer

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Religion is more to a person then a belief. It’s a way one person carries themselves in this world.

It is natural for people to believe in a religion; every culture from the Mongols to the Mayans had different beliefs. The great thing is that in the U.S., people can choose to practice their own religion or even choose not to.                 

From the Paris attacks to Trump’s lashing out, Muslims have been viewed differently since the 9/11 terror attacks. Young men and women have been killed due to hate crimes. On February 10, 2015, in Chapel Hill, N.C.,  Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha where all murdered in their home. At first it was not classified as a hate crime but was allegedly considered a parking dispute. Then, after an investigation  conducted by the FBI, it was announced as a hate crime.

The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter emerged within a couple hours of this crime and was the top worldwide trending subject on Twitter.  A memorial was created for the three Muslims, with around 5,000 people attending it, which shows how people unite after a tragedy.

There are almost 3.3 million Muslims that live in the U.S., according to a 2015 Pew study, with most of them students in the public school systems. Most schools with a good number of Muslims have a club called Muslim Student Association(MSA). It is located on most university campuses and a few high schools across the U.S.

MSA is built on the foundation to help students feel welcomed in their own high school and university. It creates a safe place where Muslim students can express themselves.

Here at AVHS we are fortunate to have this club in our school. It began four years ago, and since then the club has accomplished a lot, including creating a prayer time for its students.  With meetings every Thursday, and Friday prayers at 2:00 in the band room, students get to have the privilege to go to school and still be able to worship on time.

It wasn’t always like this; a group of students petitioned to be able to have daily prayers during passing time. The rigorous hours of work and dedication by students like AVHS graduate Abdirahman Mahad eventually paid off.

“I have been a part of MSA for almost two years,” said junior Aisha Salad. “I think it’s important to learn more about your own religion and grow closer with your fellow classmates. One thing I like is the fact that there is many guest speakers that come in during the school year.”

“It’s an important club because it’s a way Muslim students can express their religion without judgment,” said junior Zynab Ahmed.  “Also it’s a place where someone can grow in their knowledge of Islam.”

The of the greatest advantages of the club is that it bridges a gap between the Muslim community and AVHS students. Last trimester, students from MSA–like Aisha and Zynab–also attend Mr. Fritz’s World History class. Since they were learning about world religions, the  MSA students cleared any misconceptions that the students had. There was also an event last year that MSA hosted that was for non-Muslims. It was not only for trying different cuisines, but was a way for people  talk to someone who was a Muslim.

MSA was created for a sole purpose to express your own religion and remove any misconceptions that most people have. It thrives by creating a unity that brings people together.

“Anyone interested in joining is welcome.  You can also stop by our board near the media center,” AVHS junior Zynab Ahmed.

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