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During the week of March 4-7, the Trent Muslim Student Association (TMSA) has organized an awareness campaign on campus: Islam Awareness Week. Arthur spoke to TMSA president Abdullah Alotaibi about the campaign and its importance on campus.

“We welcome everyone on campus to join us this week to ask questions about Islam.”

Alotaibi mentioned there are many common misconceptions about Islam and that the TMSA wants to educate students and clarify these misconceptions.

“For instance, some people think that Islam is against science … Another misconception that exists about Islam had to do with the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. Regardless of your faith, skin colour, or language, etc., we all share a common humanity … and the purpose is to know each other and live with one another in love and peace.

“One important thing that I would like to mention in here is that Muslims aren’t perfect. When a Muslim hates another human or does anything wrong, Islam shouldn’t be blamed because that wrong behaviour has nothing to do with Islam.

“I would like to ask those people who are afraid of Islam or think Islam is a hateful religion one question: have you ever spoken to Muslims on campus or hung around with them?

“Usually people are afraid because they don’t know us. They don’t hear from us, instead they hear about us unfortunately.”

The events will fall into the four major aspects within Islam, which are: spiritual, social, mental and physical. Every day will focus on one of these aspects and all the activities on that day will be related to it.

The TMSA will have a booth at Bata Library all week from 11am-5pm. Every day the information sessions and Q&A available at the Bata booth will focus on one of the aspects of Islam. Monday is social values; Tuesday is physical being; Wednesday is mental being; Thursday is spiritual being.

On Monday there will be a movie screening from 5-6pm of Inside Mecca in Bata Room 103. The topics of the day will include: unity and brotherhood, family and kinship, racism, and the importance of the mosque.

On Tuesday there will be Henna tattoos done at the Bata booth, and an informal gathering with games and snacks at the Gzowski Gathering Space from 6-7pm. The topics of the day will include: why Muslims fast, education about Halal and Haram food, and physical well-being in Islam.

On Wednesday, there will be an activity called, “What do you look like in hijab?” where anyone can try on the Muslim garment. The topics of the day will include: branches of knowledge, Islam and science, and the importance of seeking knowledge.

On Thursday, the TMSA invites anyone who is interested to fast from morning until sunset and then join them from 5-7pm in the LEC Pit, where there will be a Qur’an recitation and Iftar–a meal to break the fast. From 7-8pm in Gzowski College room 115 there will be a lecture on the importance of seeking knowledge by Sh. Shazim Khan of the Kawartha Muslim Religion Association (KMRA). The topics of the day will include: why Muslims worship, the importance of the hijab, and the meaning of life.

On Friday from 1-5pm in the Gzowski Gathering Space there will be a free lunch and concluding discussion about Islam Awareness Week.

“TMSA is open to anyone and our events and resources are for everyone. Don’t hesitate to be friends with us, we’re amazing people!”