// For Muslim Students, a Debate on Inclusion
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jannah
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« on: Feb 21, 2008 05:41 PM »


More crap from the NYTimes. This could have been a really good and interesting article. Blech.

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For Muslim Students, a Debate on Inclusion


SAN JOSE — Amir Mertaban vividly recalls sitting at his university’s recruitment table for the Muslim Students Association a few years ago when an attractive undergraduate flounced up in a decidedly un-Islamic miniskirt, saying “Salamu aleykum,” or “Peace be upon you,” a standard Arabic greeting, and asked to sign up.

Mr. Mertaban also recalls that his fellow recruiter surveyed the young woman with disdain, arguing later that she should not be admitted because her skirt clearly signaled that she would corrupt the Islamic values of the other members.

“I knew that brother, I knew him very well; he used to smoke weed on a regular basis,” said Mr. Mertaban, now 25, who was president of the Muslim student group at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, from 2003 to 2005.

Pointing out the hypocrisy, Mr. Mertaban won the argument that the group could no longer reject potential members based on rigid standards of Islamic practice.

The intense debate over whether organizations for Muslim students should be inclusive or strict is playing out on college campuses across the United States, where there are now more than 200 Muslim Students Association chapters.


Con't @ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/education/21muslim.html?_r=1&ref=education
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 22, 2008 12:10 AM »

Asslamu alykum,

What part of the article do you disagree with? That's how many of the Muslim Student organizations are, particlularly MSA. I once attended an MSA meeting, at Rice unverisity, I also happened to volunteer to help them set up. It was an event to shed light on the Iraqi people's plights under the US sanctions. This was a couple of years back.

There I am in my shalwar kameez, with my scarf, and I went up to the mike, as people were doing to ask the speaker a question. When one of the sisters comes up and stops me and says that some of the men in the audiance are offended that I'm standing up to ask a question and would I mind sitting down? You know what I did? I left.  I didn't even ask the question. I asked who the men were and she pointed to two young brothers with large beards and their pants wayyy above their ankles, *staring* at me like they were going to do something... Well... it worked. I was offended and I just left. I haven't volunteered for any MSA ever since.

Who is anyone to judge a person? So what if a girl in a mini-skirt wants to join MSA or a guy wearing a budwiser t-shirt wants to do the same? Maybe if they hung around more conservative people, they would learn from their positive examples.

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« Reply #2 on: Feb 22, 2008 05:14 AM »

wsalam,

I don't "disagree" with the article in that sense. This is definitely a big problem in MSAs across the country even while I was going to school there were major issues between people who were "ultra hardline" and those who were more "anything goes" and then everyone else.  I mean our MSA had a problem with sisters not wearing hijab at the dawah table and sisters becoming president even! But I just didn't like how the article was written and it came across really strange, like all these kids were wack and did anything they wanted like casino gambling and others were like ultra fundamentalist. Like if the author did some in-depth interviews? where is the real discussion about this issue and the varying viewpoints and complexities of what's going on. It just seemed... hmm a 'shallow look at things', but I guess  him being an outsider and probably a few generations older than college age would probably do it.

And then there's that whole attack on MSA national thing which is so ridiculous...MSA never banned women and it never had a wahhabi bent!!! The founders of MSA were ikhwani more than anything. And then what is this 'they need women there or else they'll become extremists bombing the campus'?? I mean come on. They always somehow have to bring it to this in every single article NYtimes writes. Jeez.

PS. I don't think you should have left. You had just as much right as anyone else to be there and ask your questions. The 'brothers' should have been lowering their gaze instead of staring at sisters to criticize them. If every sister got offended by some dumb ppl and gave up, where would MSA be. There certainly wouldn't be sister presidents and even MSA Natl presidents that are women. It's fine to be practicing, the problem is most people have no idea how to do dawah or how to deal with people who are not "as practicing" or we should really say "practicing like the way they're practicing". As for MSA they should be inclusive of everyone no matter what. The events and things they do is another story, but it comes down to what the goal of an MSA is, and it should be to help and keep kids Islamic throughout their college years.


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« Reply #3 on: Feb 22, 2008 04:21 PM »

You're way too kind sister, I'd have asked her if she was their underpaid lawyer or something lol

Seriously though, don't let other people get in the way of what you want to accomplish in life... there are always gonna be others with that kind of mentality.

Hence, as Muslims we should try to educate people to control their own whims and desires, that's where we can get proper Adab insha`Allah.

May Allah(subHana Wa Ta`ala) guide us all to the Straight Path and rid our Ummah of ignorance.

Ameen

"Do not treat people with contempt, nor walk insolently on the earth. Allah does not love the arrogant or the self-conceited boaster. Be modest in your bearing and subdue your voice, for the most unpleasant of voices is the braying of the ass." [The Holy Qur'an, Surah Luqman - 31:18-19]
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 22, 2008 10:46 PM »

Asalamualaikum wa rahmatallah,


All praise be to Allah.


The Muslim students who gather for the sake of knowledge and mutual support in practicing and propogating the religion, and in order to keep the faith and not apostate out of the religion, are doing a good job, and we ask Allah Most High to make them firm on the true belief.  I am very happy to hear that the efforts are continuing.  I used to be active in the Muslim Students Association when I was in college.

It is the wish of the disbelievers to corrupt the youth of Islam, since they are the vanguard of the future of the faith, and they are the ones who can raise the banner of Islam.  They wish they could turn all of the youth out of the faith in Allah, and apostate and adopt the ways of the corrupt consumerist society of loose sex, fornication, drinking, and immorality.  Allah says (translation of the meaning):


"They wish to extinguish the Light of Allah, but Allah will perfect His Light, though the disbelievers hate it."



Islam is spreading, with thousands of new Muslims each day, and the Sahwa (Revival) will continue.  The youth are coming to Masjids across the Muslim world.  Our sisters are wearing the hijab, and abandoning the degrading and false ideas of feminism that in fact denies them the high position of respect and dignity that Allah gives them, as slaves of Allah and no one else.

On the issue of separation, it is important that the MSAs and other groups maintain a connection with the local Ulema or alumni students of knowledge who have studied extensively with the Ulema, and follow their recommendations.  The rules of separation in Islam is to prevent fornication, loose sex, rape, and other harmful things that happen with intermingling.  There is no need to discuss the need for these guidelines, as any college student can attest to what happens on campus.  By following the Ulema and Imams, the MSA's efforts will have the baraka and blessings of Allah, and they will be successful in this life and the next.


We ask Allah to accept this effort to revive the religion, and guide our brothers and sisters in the MSAs to follow the imams and scholars, and not follow the vain desires of the disbelievers who seek to put out the Light of Allah, and drive a wedge between the Muslims and their religion.  May Allah keep our brothers and sisters who are students in the west on the faith, and let them not apostate after having been guided out of the darkness of jahilliyya by the efforts of our pious predeccessors.




And Allah knows best.


Shaykh Abdurahman

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 24, 2008 05:37 AM »

 
Quote
It is the wish of the disbelievers to corrupt the youth of Islam, since
 they are the vanguard of the future of the faith, and they are the ones who can raise
 the banner of Islam.  They wish they could turn all of the youth out of the faith in Allah,
 and apostate and adopt the ways of the corrupt consumerist society of loose sex,
 fornication, drinking, and immorality.

 peace be upon you

When do we take responsibility for our actions?

Do we have to hide our faults behind the crutches of “Kuffar”, “Yahood”
 “nasara”, “corrupt capitalist” “bankrupt communist” “much hated Zionist”?

Is it not time we acknowledge our faults as ours?

Is it not time to rectify ourselves without playing the blame game/bashing someone/name
 calling?

When do we learn that today’s ‘Kuffar’ bashing leads to tomorrow’s Takfir
 (calling Muslims whodont agree to your view point as apostates) and the dayafter’s bloodshed,
 bombings and loss of life?

If something is wrong with our Ummah than we our responsible for it and we should try
 rectifying it?

When someone asks us some of us say “Islam means peace”, Let us stand up for those
 words in our private speeches/discussions/thought process, let us stop sowing thoughts of
 hate and let us please refrain from name-calling

 :wsalam:

This post submitted using the ANONYMOUS button on the main Madina menu. Please reply here publicly so that the original poster can read any replies.
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 24, 2008 10:59 PM »

Walaikum salam wrt,


Dear sister,


I am sorry if my post came across as harsh, I am actually very soft-spoken in person Smiley  That reminds me of a hadith of the Prophet (s) narrated in Bukhari:

A tumbler (full of milk or water) was brought to the Prophet who drank from it, while on his right side there was sitting a boy who was the youngest of those who were present and on his left side there were old men. The Prophet asked, "O boy, will you allow me to give it (i.e. the rest of the drink) to the old men?" The boy said, "O Allah's Messenger! I will not give preference to anyone over me to drink the rest of it from which you have drunk." So, the Prophet gave it to him.


May Allah make us more soft like the Prophet, peace be upon him.



And Allah knows best.

Be merciful to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will be merciful to you.
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