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Muslim club spreads awareness of Islam faith

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Layla Abbas
LV Life Editor

The Muslim Student Association hosted an Islam Awareness Week that spread the religion of Islam through informative events each day last week.

Nala Kachour, president of the Muslim Student Association, helped pin hijabs on interested students and explained the purpose of the traditional head scarf last Monday.

Muslim women wear the head scarf for different reasons including a physical sign of Muslim identity and to become closer to God.

Kachour, who wears the hijab every day, said she feels unique because she is part of a small group on campus that wear the hijab.

Demairis Lao, senior art and art history major, said aside from the added heat of wearing a hijab, she enjoyed her first time wearing the traditional head scarf.

“I like the way Nala arranged the hijab and made sure it was secure underneath,” Lao said. “I picked the pale red hijab with gold embellishments because it was very inviting.”

Lao said the experience of wearing the hijab allowed her to gain a closer understanding of the Muslim community.

“For me to support Muslims I would have to stand with them in a very visual way and participating in Hijab Day did that,” Lao said.

Pomona Salcido, senior mathematics major, was hesitant to put the hijab on at first because she did not want to represent a false image.

“By wearing the hijab I feel like I need to carry myself a certain way,” Salcido said. “I did not want people to ask me a question and not know the answer.”

Salcido said she was drawn to the event because she has never had the chance to speak to someone who wears the hijab.

She said she has always had a curiosity for other people’s religious backgrounds.

“A lot of people have questions they are not willing to ask, but should be able to ask these questions to different cultures,” Salcido said. “To be educated is the only way we can communicate with each other.”

On Tuesday a small group painted verses from the Qur’an, the holy bible of Islam, on graffiti boards that were placed in Sneaky Park for a few days.

On Wednesday and Thursday Kachour and members of MSA distributed 200 sunflowers with quotes attached from the Prophet Muhammad and his cousin Imam Ali.

Kachour said sharing Islamic quotes with people on campus helped inform the campus community about the religion.

“It took down that barrier,” Kachour said. “It created an Islamic community between Muslims and non-Muslims on campus.”

On Thursday, members of the Muslim Student Association hosted a Halal dinner that attracted more than 15 people. The members explained why Muslims eat Halal food and walked through proper dinner etiquette.

Halal is an Arabic word for food that is permitted under the dietary restrictions of Islam. This includes not eating any meat that comes from pigs or consuming any type of alcohol.

Kachour said some of the dinner etiquette revolves around maintaining personal health like sitting down to eat and drinking water before eating.

“Since it was a dinner with people coming over, it is advised by the Prophet that the host is the first person to eat in order to encourage everyone else to start eating,” Kachour said. “And the host should be the last one to finish eating in order to not discourage the guests to stop eating early.”

The group ended the week by hosting a traditional Islamic prayer in Sneaky Park. Kachour said Islam is one of the only religions that covers everything a Muslim does in their life.

“We do everything in a specific way that was told to us by the Qur’an or by the words of the Prophet Muhammad.”

The Muslim Student Association meets once a month on Mondays at 3 p.m. Those who are interested in the club can contact Kachour at nala.kachour@laverne.edu.

Layla Abbas can be reached at layla.abbas@laverne.edu.

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