Students open about Islam at MSA’s open house


In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second only to worshipping, and it is the parents’… In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second only to worshipping, and it is the parents’ right to expect such service.

Aisha Qureshi, a junior at Pitt, plans to have her parents live with her in their old age, and she has never thought about putting them in a nursing home.

“It is something we can do to pay them back for raising us,” Qureshi said. “To give them the same respect and love as they gave us when we were younger.”

Students were able to learn more about Islam through posters, slideshows and Muslim students, like Qureshi, in an open house on Islam, hosted by the Muslim Student Association.

Jamila Marr, a junior and president of the MSA, said the main reason for the event was to educate people about Islam and dispel stereotypes associated with Muslims.

“We did this because we noticed massive discrimination and misunderstandings on campus — that women are oppressed, and that we are all terrorists — especially after Sept. 11, 2001,” Marr said.

Marr also gave her opinion on the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.

“I don’t agree with the occupation. If they want to live there, fine, but they should not try and force the Palestinians out,” she said.

According to one of the posters at the open house, Islam only permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on behalf of those who have been forcibly expelled from their homes.

Marr also attacked the idea of the Muslim women are oppressed through the clothes they wear.

“Her physical beauty is not important. It is her mental beauty,” Marr said. “So, in the corporate world, you can get the job you want because you are smart, not because you look good in a miniskirt.”

Imene Boumaza, a sophomore and member of the group, clarified the rules for having multiple wives in Islam.

“You can have up to four, but it is best to have only one. You are only allowed to marry a second wife if the first one agrees,” Boumaza said.

Hami Ramani, a sophomore at Pitt and a self-described atheist, attended the open house to talk with others and learn more about Islam.

“It’s important to expose yourself to different things,” said Ramani, who discussed how religion can cause animosity among people. He added that the messages conveyed by religions reach beyond conflicts.

“The message of Islam is beautiful, just like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and others,” Ramani said.

Iman Moawad, a sophomore at Pitt and secretary of the group, stressed that Islam is non-violent, and that there would be less violence if people were better educated.

“I think that so much of the violence that happens is because of ignorance,” Moawad said. “By doing this, we can make a more peaceful and understanding world.”