Muslim Student Association aims to educate and serve SHU community

The Muslim Student Association, more commonly referred to on campus as MSA, is a Muslim student organization centered on educating members of the Seton Hall community on Islam and eliminating misconceptions about the faith.

The club is open to both Muslim and non-Muslim students and the club’s mission statement explains its primary goal, “To raise awareness of Islam around campus and our community. We do this by having informative events that help educate students and staff about Islam”.

The MSA hopes to engage the SHU community with events like their annual Hijabathon.
Photo courtesy of Adam Varoqua

But the mission statement is much more than that as Aamna Aamir, a senior biology major explained, “Our mission statement is more about community and service than it is just about Islamic education, although we try to incorporate both,” she said.

To that end, the organization has lived up to its goal by hosting events and tabling around campus to provide information about the religion.
One of its services is Islamic Awareness week, where tabling and activities take place.

It happens during the spring semester and serves as a way to give a better representation on what Islam is and who Muslims are.

One of the activities, Hijabathon, serves as an opportunity for all women on campus to wear a hijab, a scarf covering your head, for a day to get a sense of what being a Muslim woman is like.

Elif Kucuk, a junior social work major, elaborated on this event as one of her favorite in the past. “Mine was the Hijabathon that I attended last year, it was my first not just being an board member but a mentee,” she said. “It was the first big event of MSA and it’s something I won’t forget.” Events like these serve as way to educate people on Islam.

Rawda Abdelmenam, a senior Speech Pathology major, explained, “More often than not people are interested about Islam because the way it is portrayed in the media and sometimes the easiest form of research is just hanging out with a Muslim and having a conversation. It’s like a shortened method of reading book or conducting research, just going to a MSA event.”

Even though the club is excited for the event, they’re having difficulty in securing a location to host. “It’s really unfortunate because this year we are struggling with getting the university to give us a proper location to host such an event,” Abdelmenam said. “It’s extremely saddening because this is our opportunity as a student organization to make sure we’re adequately represented on this campus.”

Events like those above are highly important to the organization because it is a way to serve the Seton Hall community.

Mohamed Elshekh, a sophomore diplomacy and relations and religions double major said, “That’s an Islamic value, it’s serving your community, serving this campus is a duty of ours.”

Adam Z Varoqua can be reached at adam.varoqua@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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