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New York Muslims Celebrate Diversity

Published: 26/03/2013 01:18:18 PM GMT
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CAIRO - Extending bridges with their colleagues and the wider community, Muslim students are arranging month-long events to shed light on the diversity of life and culture in the Muslim world and give a voice to the Muslim mi (more)

CAIRO - Extending bridges with their colleagues and the wider community, Muslim students are arranging month-long events to shed light on the diversity of life and culture in the Muslim world and give a voice to the Muslim minority in New York.

“The goals of the Shuruq events are to celebrate Muslim identity and foster understanding amongst people of all backgrounds and faiths,” Asma Imam, a College of Arts and Science (CAS) junior and junior chair of Shuruq, told NYU Washington Square News newspaper.“We are excited to reach out to others beyond the community at Islamic Center at NYU.”

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Muslim students at the university have opened month-long events to offer their colleagues a chance to better know about Islam and the Muslim world.

The events, which run from March 25 to April 17, also aim to give a voice to the Muslim community within NYU and New York City.

Organizers say the events are meant to shed light on the diversity of life, culture and politics throughout the Muslim world.

Events held throughout this month include, Islam 101, where attendees can ask NYU's Muslim Chaplain Imam Khalid Latif any questions they have about Islam and Muslims.

A Hijabathon event would also be held to offer people the chance to experience wearing hijab for a day and share their experiences over dinner.

Another day would be specified to “Tastes of The Muslim Palate” event, which showcases the diversity of ethnic backgrounds of Muslims through cuisine.

“We try to hold events which will appeal to everyone's interests—whether it be sports, poetry, comedy, music, social issues or just food,” said CAS senior and senior chair of Shuruq Saba Gill.

New York is home to some 800,000 Muslims, about 10 percent of the city's population.

The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.

Role Models

Muslim students hosted American football player Hamza Abdullah to discuss his experience and journey.

“The number one thing that sports teaches you is the relationship. It teaches you about not discounting your opponent,” Abdullah, the featured guest of last night's dinner who played on the Arizona Cardinals, said.

“So if you see a white, black, Hispanic, Arab, Indian guy it doesn't matter, you get on that field [and] your object is to win or lose.

“You have to work together with your team to gain the victory. It doesn't matter if I am sitting there with a Christian or Jewish man, we have to work together. That's what I love about sports.”

Some of the attendees were curious about Abdullah's decision to take a year off to fulfill his Hajj in Makkah.

“I came to this event in order to learn about the experience of Hamza Abdullah and his Hajj” said CAS freshman Anteneh Moges.

“I have learned a lot from my Islamic societies class about Islam and thought it would be interesting to see a Muslim practicing athlete.”

Along with Hamza, the event plans the appearances by female rights activist Maryam Ramadan, gang violence “interrupter” Ameena Matthews and comedian Dean Obeidallah.“These individuals showcase the diversity of this month, which we hope everyone can benefit from,” said Gill.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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