Kadijatu Balde | Reporter
With the diversity pool growing in Avon, it is important to make all students feel represented. For this purpose, a new club has been made at Avon called the Muslim Students Association. This club came from a few fellow friends who wanted to educate people about Islam.
The president of MSA, Abdur Rahim Salim, said that there is a lot of misinformation about Islam that needs to be cleared up.
“I felt that there is a lot of miseducation about Islam in general, so I wanted to create a place to clear these misconceptions up and also create a safe space as well,” Salim said.
Many members, like Ayah Mahariq, are excited about the future of this group. They all have high hopes for the future of MSA and hope to accomplish many things.
“The club is doing great. I’m extremely delighted and the callout meeting was so much fun for us to just sit down and compare and contrast our religions. I look forward to the next meeting,” Mahariq said.
The group is not only for Muslims – it is also for other people of different religions.
Mahariq said that this group is meant for all people and that anyone is welcome.
“Numerous people have asked if this club was only for Muslims and that they’re afraid they’ll ‘be the only non-Muslim at the meeting’,” Mahariq said. “The club is for everyone! You do not have to be a Muslim to join this club! The purpose of the club is not just to inform the students about Islam, but other topics regarding other religions will be talked about as well.”
Junior and MSA secretary Salma Chemmaoui said she found out about the group through her friend Salim.
“Well, my friend Abdur told me and my other Muslim friends about the idea, and I was really excited to educate people about Islam and break stereotypes,” Chemmaoui said.
Chemmaoui said she wants this group to be represented well in Avon and to educate individuals.
“I hope that we can educate people more about Islam and breakdown stereotypes. I just want people to walk out of the meeting knowing something that they didn’t know before,” Chemmaoui said. “I want to help grow this club and make sure everyone has a safe space to talk about anything they want. I hope it’s with positivity and curiosity, I always appreciate it when somebody asks me questions instead of assuming because that can be very damaging.”
Salim said that he has high hopes for the future of MSA, he wants to see a lot of growth over time.
“I hope current members just get the word out as much as possible and let people know that the club isn’t just for Muslim students,” Salim said. “We have inter-faith discussions so we can all understand each other better. I just want to see growth over time, nothing specific in mind. I just want to know we’re doing everything we can to accomplish our vision.”