Muslim American Society promotes faith awareness

Aly Taha, sophomore in Business, gives a flower to Kayla Smith, senior in LAS, as he explains the significance of Muhammad during the “Muhammad: The Orphan Who Adopted the World” event on the Main Quad on Wednesday.

By Michelle Redondo

Members of the Muslim American Society handed out colorful flowers, embellished with sayings by the Prophet Muhammad, Wednesday on the Main Quad to promote social awareness about Muhammad and the Islamic faith.

“God loves and befriends a servant who is pious, abstinent and unostentatious,” read one of the messages.

The University’s chapter of the Muslim American Society organized the two-day event, titled “Muhammad: The Orphan who Adopted the World.”

Sameha Martini, the group’s event coordinator and sophomore in LAS, said Wednesday’s event aimed to counteract the current perceptions surrounding Muslims and the Islamic faith.

“We want to show them the real Muhammad and how he treated the women in his life, his neighbors and his enemies,” Martini said.

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Members of the Muslim American Society said the Islamic faith is often misrepresented by the media, which often associates Muslims with terror attacks and ISIS.

The group said it is challenging the misconceptions associated with the Islamic faith by educating people about Muhammad and his teachings.

Muzammil Ali, sophomore in Engineering, discussed the group’s goal to fight ISIS and counteract the media’s perception of them.

“Extremists hijacked our religion, and now we’re trying to take it back,” Ali said.

The organization’s members said the extremists involved with ISIS proclaim they are doing the work of Muhammad. Not only is this false, they said, but it makes people think that Islam as a whole is innately bad.

Ahmed Taha, president of the University’s MAS branch said Muhammad’s teachings showed his followers how to be an integral part of society while also asking for their rights.

“(He told us) we need to be truthful, nice, patient, brave and to stand up for any of your rights, if your main rights are transgressed against,” Ahmed said.

Meanwhile, ISIS is not advocating the truthful and peaceful aspect of Muhammad, nor do they understand his message, Ahmed said.

“Islam is all about moderation, and the prophet always promoted moderation in everything we do,” Martini said.

One goal of handing out flowers Wednesday was to make the organization and its members more proactive.

Members said rather than defending their religion and being apologists, they connected with people to educate those who are ignorant of the Islamic faith.

Ahmed said the Muslim American Society promotes participation in social activism, service and practicing citizenship duties. He added that the community-driven aspects of the organization makes it an asset and attractive to Muslims of all ages.

“The thing that draws me toward MAS is its methodology,” said Aliaa Taha, sophomore in Engineering, “It’s very big picture and focuses on self-development and outreach. It takes a very holistic approach to issues that are relevant today.”

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