International Affairs Reporter
The Humber Muslim Student Association wants to bridge the gap between Muslims and the rest of the college.
The newly-created North campus group also launched an Arabic studies program to expose non-Muslims to the culture and learn language, and history of Islam.
“Many students in Humber have Muslim friends but they never engage with them on the topic of faith,” said Muslim Student Association (MSA) president Taha Ali. “We intend to let the people who are not acquainted with the Islamic faith to come to our traditional Friday prayer, so they can sit in the back, watch and listen to the sermon.”
Ali thinks it will accomplish at least two goals.
First, people will see students they meet on campus practicing their faith. Second, they will hear the sermon and learn the basics about Islam.
“We have an open door policy now,” Ali says. “It’s not like we just come to this room, close the door and no one knows what’s going on inside.
“We let the community come in and learn, ask questions, reach out,” he said.
The MSA is also reaching out to engage the wider Humber community, talking to other clubs and organizations on campus and local businesses with whom they could work and develop partnerships.
Ali thinks this approach will develop a community bond instead of Muslims just remaining cloistered amongst themselves, especially when they reach out with charity events.
“Education and spirituality is great,” Ali said. “But when somebody is hungry … or can’t provide for themselves, we, as Muslims, take that to be a first priority.”
MSA plans to start a food drive on campus and a winter clothing drive to help people who cannot buy winter jackets.
Non-Muslim students also had suggestions for the MSA.
“(MSA) can also ask permission to come to the classes to briefly explain their religion,” said second-year Early Childhood Education student Emico Toda, 21.
“They can volunteer … in the community, … do information sessions to raise people’s awareness,” said second-year Fashion Arts student Ann Marie Cole.