Muslims on Campus

 

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The star and crescent symbol of Islam.

North Lake is a diverse multicultural community college. NLC is inclusive and helpful to make every student feel at home. But, what happened when Islamphobia hit the country?After 9-11 many people stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists. The nation started labeling Islam as a hate-based religion, this lack of knowledge or misinformation created an intolerant behavior among Americans.

Even recently some presidential candidates drag the attention of voters pointing out that ISIS is the representation of Islam and the root of evil. However, NLC’s inclusive atmosphere hasn’t been poisoned with hatred.

During the Fall 2015 semester NLC held the panel: “Islam: Myths and Facts.” The panel was a success getting student and faculty attention. After the panelists answered questions from the audience, Dr. Imam Zia, the author of Islam: Silencing the Critics said, “I would urge everyone in the future, if you really and truly want information about Islam, then interact and get involved with Muslims.”

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Also, NLC has a Muslim Student Association where Muslims and non-Muslims can interact and learn about Islam.

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Sadiya Patel is the President of the Muslim Students Association, and an officer of Alpha Zeta Eta the North Lake College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. Also, she is part of various clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

The president of MSA, Sadiya Patel, is an example of dedication and hard work.

“My liberal side made me into an ambitious, goal-oriented feminist which combated many of the stereotypes.”

Patel is easily to recognize on campus as one of the only Muslim students that wears a Burka. Stills, a lot of people probably will think that wearing a Burka or a Hijab means oppression to women.

However, wearing a Burka or Hijab represents of modesty in her religion.

“I just grew closer to God on a spiritual level and felt like I could do more to maintain my modesty,” Patel said. “I felt that my beauty wasn’t meant for everyone’s eyes and that I could choose to be in control of my image and body.”

 

ISIS has claimed so many terrorist attacks in Europe, and with the civil war in Syria, people misassociated Islam with ISIS.

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Saida Elshantaf studying for finals at NLC library. Photo by Alejandra Zavaleta Melara

“Islam means peace, therefore we’re a religion that promotes peace. Just because a minority, which I would rather not call them Muslims, are promoting terror doesn’t mean that this idea applies to all Muslims,” said Saida Elshantaf, NLC student. “I respect all other religions, and I love to be in a place where I feel respected.”

Islam is a religion that actively encourage peace and tolerance, yet like in every other religion some people are extremist and have given bad reputation to the faith.

“Islam was never a religion of terror and hatred,” said Burhan Lokhandwala, NLC student. “We do not mean harm and all terrorists are not Muslims and they do not understand the real message of Islam anyways. We love everyone and we are a peaceful community.”

 

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