Week educates students about Islam’s history, beliefs


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.

  • Arafat

    The History of the Village of Qurayza:

    Mohammed and his bloodthirsty men captured the city of Qurayza.

    They then beheaded 600 to 900 men and pubescent boys.

    They then enslaved the women and children.

    This history is from Islamic texts.
    ….
    Can anyone imagine a prophet participating in killing, stealing, enslaving?

    Witha prophet like this is it any wonder that Muslims for the last 1,4000 centuries have copied Mohammed’s actions just as we are seeing them do today?

  • Arafat

    Or did they teach this?
    .
    Feb 13, 2013
    In another story the Western media apparently refuses to cover, any Palestinian who dares to criticize Hamas or the Palestinian Authority risks being arrested or summoned for interrogation.
    Palestinian journalists are now hoping to bring this to the attention of President Barack Obama when he meets with President Mahmoud Abbas next month.
    The journalists say they want United States and the rest of the world to know that the crackdown on freedom of expression in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip is designed to hide the fact that Palestinians are governed by two repressive regimes that have no respect for human rights and democracy.

  • Arafat

    And did they teach this?
    .
    The world’s leading jailer of journalists- even exceeding Iran and China, which came in second and third respectively – is Turkey. Its ruler is the Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who once said “Democracy is like a train. We shall get out when we arrive at the station we want.”

  • Arafat

    Did they teach this?
    .
    “To clarify: Wahhabism is the only officially recognized and allowed religion in Saudi Arabia. Other forms of Islam and other religions are banned and persecuted by the state. Saudi Arabia is the only Islamic state in which there is no church, no synagogue and no other place of worship of any other religion. Shiite Muslims have been systematically discriminated against for decades. Jews are even forbidden to enter the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia practices a form of Sharia law that is one of the most brutal systems in the world. Saudi Arabia has at all times rejected the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Women may not drive a car and can be punished by flogging. Corporal punishment, including amputations and executions, are part of everyday life in the country. Just two weeks ago a Sudanese immigrant in Saudi Arabia was publicly beheaded for ‘sorcery.’ Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries in the world in which the death penalty is enforced even on teenagers,” the paper said.

  • MC

    Please remind us again how insensitive and ignorant we are as this faith continues to bleed the middle east.

  • AE

    One must be very ignorant in order to take the actions of the minority and broaden it in order to apply it to a whole group of people. Now if such a concept were plausible then all Americans would be racists, all Germans would be antisemitic, and the list goes on . As educated USC students we know that is not a fair way of labeling people. Now we live in america and freedom of speech is a right, but one must still speak the truth rather than reiterate lies that they picked up from the news.
    Peace:)

  • Manny

    It’s disheartening that some people still express themselves with intolerance and misunderstanding toward peaceful members of their own Trojan Family. I appreciate all of the commenters who voice their educated opinions in a pacific manner.

  • Dear Gt Drew:

    Thanks for sharing what you really think about Islam, it’s important for us, Muslims, to know how people think about Islam, even if these thoughts weren’t right. That’s actually why we are organizing this week of events.

    We’re doing so to educate people about our true religion, not the one presented through subjective, biased, and uneducated sources.

    We will be more than happy to have you in any of our events this week or any other time to talk to you.
    You can also come to our info table tomorrow on Trousdale, near Tommy Trojan, from 10am to 2pm to discuss whatever you’re interested about knowing about Islam.

    And I agree 100% with you that people’s actions represent what they are, and I call you to follow and observe the actions of the majority of muslims and how they interact with other people. (btw there is a plenty of them on Campus)

    One last point, It’s important not judge a group by the actions of a stray and minor group of it, or else your judgment is not right. For example if you listen to the news and you observe all the reports on the crimes and murders that happen in LA for example, you’ll think that all the people in LA are criminals which is 100% wrong, the same goes for Islam or any other group, you can’t simply judge them by the extremist people who don’t represent the group by all means.

    Regards,
    Abdullah

  • Kat

    What better way to learn about something than from the source…
    What I’ve learned firsthand is that Muslims are kind and honest people, as their religion teaches.
    Props the MSU for putting on this event.

  • Rob

    At Gt Drew,

    “Islams Actions SPEAK LOUDER than their Words…”

    Do you mean Muslims? From what I’ve seen, Islam is something intangible that cannot simply pick up a sword and behead anyone even if it wanted to.

    How many Muslims do you personally know? None of the Muslims I’ve met at USC, or anywhere, in fact, would do any of the things you’ve mentioned in your comment. Before you speak about an entire group, make sure you know your facts and have studied the subject.

    Muslims are human, just like all of us. It’s near impossible to be perfect and follow every single tenant of their holy book and the example of their prophet. The rest of the world thinks that Islam supports the actions the terrorist groups commit because the terrorists say it does. Understand what Islam, the religion, preaches before attacking it for actions of the extremist minority who wrongly interpret what God says in their scripture.

    There are 2 billion Muslims in the world; you can’t simply say all these 2 billion people have dreams of beheading the other 5 billion. Read up on it before you begin to point fingers blindly. Do I need to mention the Reconquista and other events like when Catholic nobility murdered 100,000 peasants for supporting Luther?

    If all you know about Islam and its followers comes from what you see in the media and subjective sources, then all the luck to you. All I can hope for is that you begin to show some tolerance, kindness, and understanding. There have been some imperfections along the way, I admit. However, please tell me more about Christianity’s perfect history that does not include bloodshed, corruption in the church (by the way, you can still purchase indulgences if you’d like), mass murder of nonbelievers, and not following what the Bible says.

    Peace.

    P.S. Is there something wrong with your keyboard?

  • Jane

    Religion can be good when used for good, all religions fit into this category. Islam is no different than any other religion in this respect.

    Before you go cutting down other religions, think what your own people do in the name of their religion. No on is imune from the bad.

  • A.R.

    It’s fascinating that some people including commenters here allow fundamentalism to distort the truth about this religion. Just like in any other religion, fundamentalists have given a bad name to Islam and their ideas deviate from what should actually be practiced. Ignorance kills and education heals, morons.

  • Gt Drew

    How dumb & naive do you think USC students really are? Come on!
    Islams Actions SPEAK LOUDER than their Words…
    Cutting the heads off of those who disagree with them, enslaving
    Women & children-treating them as “property”‘, using FEAR to keep
    everyone in line, the list goes on and on and on…
    It’s “my religion’ right or Wrong” and they HATE others who disagree with
    it and will stoop to killing them to silence all opposition. Intolerant. Pathetic.
    Any “faith” that has to use intimidation and threats to keep their people loyal and obedient should be upfront and responsible for their ACTIONS and their words.
    Good luck trying to gloss over what you have done to other human beings…
    We see you for who you are. No use trying to discuss Anything with you.
    See how many people you can deceive here. This is the EASIEST religion to join
    but the HARDEST one to get out of (alive).

    • Dear Gt Drew:

      Thanks for sharing what you really think about Islam, it’s important for us, Muslims, to know how people think about Islam, even if these thoughts weren’t right. That’s actually why we are organizing this week of events.

      We’re doing so to educate people about our true religion, not the one presented through subjective, biased, and uneducated sources.

      We will be more than happy to have you in any of our events this week or any other time to talk to you.
      You can also come to our info table tomorrow on Trousdale, near Tommy Trojan, from 10am to 2pm to discuss whatever you’re interested about knowing about Islam.

      And I agree 100% with you that people’s actions represent what they are, and I call you to follow and observe the actions of the majority of muslims and how they interact with other people. (btw there is a plenty of them on Campus)

      One last point, It’s important not judge a group by the actions of a stray and minor group of it, or else your judgment is not right. For example if you listen to the news and you observe all the reports on the crimes and murders that happen in LA for example, you’ll think that all the people in LA are criminals which is 100% wrong, the same goes for Islam or any other group, you can’t simply judge them by the extremist people who don’t represent the group by all means.

      Regards,
      Abdullah

  • Truth

    “I think that people’s main knowledge of Islam does not come from Muslims, which is worrying,” Akhtar said

    Not worring at all. In fact, it proves that people think for themselves and aren’t going to be swayed by propoganda and outright lies.

  • Uwaysi

    Read about the very true and real history and purpose of monotheism. http://paradoxuncreated.com/Blog/wordpress/?page_id=62

    Peace Be With You.