MSA events spark discussion

The Muslim Student Association’s Islam Awareness Week began Monday with a cultural fair, a speech and a performance in the Price Center, and two lectures Monday and Tuesday evenings.

Tyler Huff
Guardian

The MSA hoped to show “”how Islam is incorporated into the daily lives of various cultures,”” said Nadia Aziz, the event’s coordinator and former MSA president.

Participants could try on Islamic clothing and get their picture taken, get their name written in Arabic, and purchase ethnic Pakistani, Bosnian, Palestinian and Persian food. The most popular attraction, however, was the henna tattoo booth.

At the lectures, many of the speakers were confronted with pointed questions regarding perceived inconsistencies between the doctrine and behavior of Muslims, and on the conflict in Afghanistan.

Tyler Huff
Guardian

Mohammad Kotob, lecturer for “”The Concept of Allah,”” often mentioned Islam’s tolerance, respect and peacefulness toward other religions in his replies to questions ranging from the holiness of Allah to Islam’s treatment of Moses and Jesus Christ.

Mohammad Nasser, president of the Muslim American Society in San Diego, responded during Monday night’s “”Jihad vs. Terrorism”” lecture to questions about the Taliban’s actions. He dismissed arguments condemning the Afghan government for not turning over Osama bin Laden as inconclusive.

“”I came in more peaceful than I left,”” said UCSD student Constance See, referring to Nasser’s explanation of the underlying causes of conflict between Muslim nations and the Western world. “”I’m so agitated I just want to wear red, white and blue for the rest of the month.””

Most students seemed to be attentive to the speakers.

“”I came here to understand more about Islam,”” said senior John Quenzer. “”As a Christian it is important to understand other religions. I have a better understanding of how Muslims view Allah.””

Akil of the hip-hop group Jurassic 5 performed several rap songs at noon in the Price Center. After his performance he spoke about how being Muslim has positively affected his life. He also led a short prayer.

On Friday at 12:45 p.m., the MSA concludes Islam Awareness Week with an open prayer session in Price Center Ballroom A.

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