The Muslim Student Union kicked off Islam Awareness Week Monday with an informational event called Islam 101. Speakers Zienab Abdelgany and Yasmin Nouh from the Council on American Islamic Relations gave students in attendance a brief introduction to the history and practices of Islam.
The event covered basic information about the world’s second-largest religion, giving a brief history of its origins, outlining its core beliefs and debunking common misconceptions, including gender roles and prayer practices.
“I got to learn more about the fundamentals of Islam,” said Adedayo Adenuga, a first-year student in the master’s aerospace and mechanical engineering program.
Islam Awareness Week is an initiative by the MSU to spotlight the Muslim community as an integral component of campus diversity and to shed more light on a religion that many students might not know much about.
MSU External Vice President Mushfiqur Chowdhury said the goal of Islam Awareness Week is to educate people about Muslim life in the university and throughout the world
“The MSU is trying to expose the stigmas, stereotypes, misnomers and negative connotations of the Muslim community in general by providing information and knowledge about Muslims so we can have a better, more cohesive USC community,” Chowdhury said.
MSU President Nashwah Akhtar said the ultimate goal of the event is to allow USC’s Muslim students to educate their peers within the university community.
“I think that people’s main knowledge of Islam does not come from Muslims, which is worrying,” Akhtar said. “We just want to be really open and have people engage with us to get their information.”
Upcoming events for Muslim Awareness Week will highlight Islam and the sciences, videos about Islam and a hijab day on Thursday. The week will conclude with Friday prayer at Masjid Omar ibn Al-Khattab.