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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Campus

MSA hosts ‘Muslims Heart Jesus’ discussion booth


The event, conceived as a way to bring students of other faiths together, was part of the Muslim Student Association’s Islam Week. | Claire Andersen/ The Cougar

Muslim Student Association members continued their quest to spread awareness and understanding of Islam and its culture Wednesday afternoon by hosting conversations about Jesus.

Passing students were drawn in by a game in which they had to guess if verses mentioning Jesus came from the Quran or the Bible. Volunteers set up a booth in the Philip Guthrie Hoffman breezeway holding hand-drawn signs with the Quran and Bible side-by-side and handing out free T-shirts and pamphlets.

“Our scholars in Islamic studies do read the Bible if they want to compare Islam to others religions,” said engineering sophomore Hunain Shahid.

Volunteer Mohamed Ibrahim pointed out that most people don’t realize that the Quran mentions Jesus’ name more than the prophet Mohammed. Several of the volunteers, including Ibrahim, said they had read parts of the Bible.

“I personally believe that Jesus has been hijacked by a faith,” said engineering junior Asher Khan. “No one really pays attention to the fact that (Muslims) believe in Jesus.”

Students could also listen to an Arabic recording of the first chapter of the Quran. MSA students provided a translation that pointed out the similarities between the Quran passage and scriptures from the Bible.

Biology senior Noor Baweja, an MSA volunteer, shared these ideas with passing students, stressing that Jesus is regarded with the utmost respect in the Islam faith. The ‘Muslims heart Jesus’ banner hanging above their table echoed her message.

“Islam adores Jesus,”  Baweja said. “He is one of our prophets.”

Through the Islam Week events, MSA students are hoping to make clear what Islam as a faith actually teaches in comparison to what the world thinks they believe, Baweja said.  

Several students stayed for long periods of time, asking questions and participating in discussion about Islam. Though some conversations became heated, volunteers were receptive to all questions and were ready to address any misconceptions that students had.

“I’m not standing here trying to force people; I’m just standing here to raise awareness,” Khan said.

Islam Week will continue with more hot topics, including women’s rights according to Islam and an interfaith dialogue lunch.

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