SF State celebrates Islamic Awareness Week with discussion panel, potluck

Ahmina James hopes to dispel misconceptions and share her Islamic beliefs with fellow students during Islamic Awareness Week at SF State.

“Instead of listening and asking questions, people are participating and doing,” said James, who is a senior political science major and the dawah coordinator, Islamic educator, for the Muslim Students Association.

Highlights of Islamic Awareness Week include a panel of Islamic women believers and a chance for students to participate in prayer with practicing Muslims as well as hear a sermon, feast and fellowship.

Islamic Awareness Week:

Women in Islam

When: 4 to 7 p.m., Oct. 16

Where: Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, Terrace level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center

Jummah Under the Sun

When: 1 p.m., Oct. 19

Where: The quad

Sign up for the potluck here

The panel, Women in Islam, takes place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center on the Terrace level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The panel will address the history of women in Islam, Islamic women’s struggle today in western society and Islam from a female point of view. The panel guests are Muslim community activists.

The week’s events are sponsored by the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Women’s Association.

Farah Jama, 18, a junior political science major and member of both campus groups, was born into the religion, but didn’t practice until she was a student at SF State. She learned more about Islam through the MSA and MWA meetings on campus.

“They think their religion is their life,”  Jama said of non-Muslims perceptions of Muslim students.  She said others assume “that its a burden to us and that’s all we do.”

The MSA will host its biannual Jummah Under the Sun this Friday at 1 p.m. The event marks the Muslim holy day and features a potluck, prayer outside on the grass, a sermon by Yusuf Riley, a Muslim scholar and a fellowship following. Jummah is an invitation for all who want to learn more about Islam, Muslim or not.

Jummah Under the Sun has attracted more than 200 people in the past, according to James.

Events are “open to everyone, regardless of religion,” Jama said.

James hopes to “give another perspective than what’s in the media.”  She said some people see Islam as primitive and strange.

The event celebrates an aspect of SF States’s diversity.

“Peace within self and in the community” is what Islam is about, James said.

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