Cal Poly Pomona’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) broke the ice with the campus community during the second “Meet a Muslim Day” on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This event was held in the University Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Although there are over 1.8 billion Muslim people globally, there are still multiple misjudgments and a lack of understanding about the Islamic culture and religion.
MSA’s goal for “Meet a Muslim Day” is to eliminate any false stereotypes individuals have of Muslims and to educate the campus community regarding their beliefs and values.
People who are Islamophobic tend to have a closed mind or fear towards Muslims, which creates a barrier and tension between Muslims and the greater society.
“We wanted to share our true identity that is unknown to many because (the) media portrays Muslims as a negative impact to society,” said Novera Bux, MSA vice president. “We want students to feel comfortable talking to a Muslim and sharing any questions or concerns they may have.”
Outside of the Bronco Student Center, multiple booths were set up to create an interactive and open space where members of MSA were available to inform and share their values and religion with CPP students.
The booths were decorated with lively colors to represent and reflect on the rich culture and spirit of Muslims. The MSA members wore nametags and walked around each booth to get to know the attendees.
Some of the booths included trivia games, hennas, hijabs, Arabic calligraphy and poster boards, all which encouraged students to gain a different perspective and open up discussions about the Islamic culture.
Students had the opportunity to try on a hijab and receive free henna tattoos. They also had a chance to learn the true meaning behind these familiar symbols of the Islamic culture. As well, the MSA members also gave out flowers and note cards with Arabic calligraphy to students. Photo opportunities were available at every booth.
“We made our ‘What is Islam’ table our main attraction,” said Azeb Malik, a fourth-year construction engineering and management student and participant of the event. “As Muslims, we wanted to showcase Islam in its true colors for the benefit of the CPP community.”
The “What is Islam” table highlighted the prayers, faith, fasting, charity and hajj of Islam. Da’wah is the invitation or sharing of the Islamic faith to an individual so one can understand the faith more in depth.
“There are more similarities than differences between us,” said Shannon Tia, second-year animal science student at the event. “At the end of the day, we are all human beings and should be treated with the same respect and kindness.”
The MSA hopes to create more fun and open events like “Meet a Muslim Day” that will engage the campus community in the Islamic culture.
For more information on upcoming events hosted by MSA, follow @cppmsa on Instagram.
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