Islam Awareness Week offers education to everyone

Speaker Usama Canon discusses spirituality at the last lecture of the MSA Islam Awareness series. Photo by Wedad Yassin.

by Taylor Hoppe



During the week of Jan 23-27, the Benedictine’s Muslim Student Association hosted Islam Awareness Week. Each day an event or lecture was held to further educate students on the religion.

“Islam Awareness Week is a week full of activities to tackle topics in Islam that are not fully understood in our communities,” explained BenU student Wedad Yassin. “Not only does it help the Muslim community better understand Islam, but it is also geared towards catering to the non-Muslim community.”

The week began with a lecture titled, “Discovering the Essence of Islam”. During the lecture the speaker highlighted the five Pillars of Islam and explained their significance and educated guests on how to apply the Pillars to their lives. “It was an Islam 101,” said Yassin.

Tuesday featured a lecture titled, “Traveling Through an Oasis: Your life on the Middle Path.” The speaker at the event discussed the ideas of extremism and balancing religion and life.

Yassin commented that the speaker clarified the differences between the media definition of extremist and the Islam definition of an extremist. “In Islam, [an extremist] is a person who neglects their family and duties because they pray too much,” she said. “The media’s definition of an Islamic extremist is a terrorist.”

“The True Armor of Our Existence: Women and Gender Roles” was the lecture that was held on Wednesday. During the lecture, the speaker discussed examples of women in Islamic history and their contributions to the faith.

The speaker also discussed proper gender roles. “She said the moment a relationship becomes about ‘my rights and your rights’ the relationship has failed,” explained Yassin. “This is because we should live our life with the goal for the love and approval of God.”

On Thursday, an open mic night, “Liberating the Soul: One Poem at a Time” was held. During the event, many topics from stereotypes to the meaning of life were discussed. “There was laughter, shock and [emotionally touching] moments. It was a great night that not only discussed many topics in our lives but also unified everyone through art,” shared Yassin.

The week came to a close with “Spirituality: God and I.”

“MSA was honored to have the opportunity of having Usama Canon to bring the week to an end,” commented Yassin. Canon, a well-known national speaker, discussed various topics with audience members.

“We had a good turnout at all of the events and people have told me they have learned new things and that is what matters most,” added Yassin. “If only one person benefitted from this week, then mission accomplished.”