CAIRO - Fighting misconceptions associated with Islam, Muslim students at Ohio's Wright State University are regrouping under their active student association umbrella, finding a new pulpit to address problems and challenges facing them inside the campus.
Being President of this organization has molded me to the person I wanted to be, Muhamed Gula, president of the Muslim Student Association, told The Guardian, the university's newspaper.
I can now stand in front of hundreds of people and know what to say. I can handle the impact of responsibility.
Working as MSA president, Gula, said the group has managed to attract new members whose number reached about 500 members.
Gula, along with MSA Vice Presidents Farzan Aziz and Taseen Ahmed, have been working hard to unite the Muslim students at Wright State and provide them with spiritual resources and support.
The impact of this organization is that we represent the International Students and make sure their visit here is what they need, for example: tutoring, Gula added.
For some it's really a culture shock, they don't know what's normal and what's not.
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to an estimated Muslim minority of six to eight million.
An earlier Gallup poll found that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Hosting Friday weekly prayer, the MSA faces a repeated problem of lacking a proper place to accommodate 130 Muslim students.
The organization's meeting areas have moved to different locations on campus because of the massive size.
One of our challenges is that the University can't fulfill our needs the way we want it, like a bigger place, Gula said.
The members don't understand why they are not used to the separation of church and state. Where they are from, church is the state. Currently we are in the Rathskeller, but even that is getting full.
As Gula, Aziz and Ahmed prepare for graduation soon, they are currently training individuals to elect new leaders of the group.
They are also working on Islam Awareness Week for Spring Semester, hoping to bring speakers and inform students about Islamic culture and the prophet they worship.
What's going on in the media doesn't portray what the prophet is really about, Gula said.
In other areas the Muslim community is divided. But Wright State is the only place that doesn't divide, because, here, it's not about culture, country you live in or the religion you choose.
Our organization is open for anyone to join.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net