The Muslim Student Association will be holding a two-day event this week to help get rid of misconceptions about Islam.
The event, called Islamic Awareness Week: Misconceptions About Islam, will take place on Thursday, March 31, and Friday, April 1. On the first day of the event, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) will be holding an “introduction to Islam type thing,” according to Anas Syed, the president of the MSA, in the Memorial Union Atrium 2. The event will consist of booths that will have themes such as “Ask a Muslim,” fact vs. fiction, try on a hijab, henna and more.
“There’s different things that people can try to experience our culture,” Syed said.
On the second day of the event, the MSA will be holding a lecture and dinner based on misconceptions surrounding Islam in Hardge Forum of the Multicultural Student Services Center. Qutaiba Albluwi, the URI Muslim Chaplain, will be the guest speaker who will talk on the misconceptions in Islam. Syed said that the dinner and lecture are meant to invite people to come and learn about Islam, because there are a lot of misconceptions concerning certain situations in today’s society.
Syed said the group’s goal is to get as many people to go as possible. While they are aiming specifically for students, they have sent out many invitations to the event. Mishal Siddiqui, secretary of the Muslim Student Association, added that their ultimate goal for anyone attending the events is that their questions, thoughts and/or concerns will be answered through talking to the students running it.
“Even if one of their questions is answered I think our goal will be achieved,” Siddiqui said. “That’s what we want. For them to associate with their Muslim friends or acquaintances or coworkers or whatever and feel a little more comfortable and feel like they know them better than before… All Muslims are different, we are not all the same. Just like every other human in the world, we are not all the same.”
The group’s main goal is to let people know about Islam and to have people feel more comfortable around them and vice versa, according to Syed.
“We want them to understand us and see what we face on a daily [basis] as well,” Syed said. “And get an experience into who we are because our religion is a lot to due with who we are.”
The two-day event will begin today from noon to 4 p.m., and will continue on Friday from 6 – 10 p.m.. There will be free food provided at the banquet.