New student organization urges Muslim support

April 8, 2015

By Kelli Viele

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) is an organization trying to put an end to the negative stereotypes Muslims face, especially in the United States. The student organization also educates people what Islam really is and what it means to be a follower of the religion.

Students Saad Anjum, junior, and Sajid Jaber, sophomore, decided that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater could benefit from having such an organization as MSA and started their local organization last semester. Currently, Anjum is the president and Jaber is the vice president.

President Anjum wanted to start MSA at UW-W to raise awareness about the negativity that Muslims face in society. The most important thing people should know is there is a lot of hatred towards Muslims, Anjum said. Anjum noted that this hatred will not completely stop, but still believes people can do their part to keep it from happening.

“My goal is to be a positive Muslim role model that people can say, ‘look at this guy, look at what he has done.’” Anjum said. “I want to be that person. That is my goal. That is the most important thing to me.”

MSA strives to educate people on Islam and wants to help the UW-W campus and the world by bringing awareness and understanding to Muslims and Islam.

Anjum and Jaber feel Whitewater is an open and accepting campus of people.

“College students are more accepting of diversity,” Anjum said. “Once you get out of college, I feel like you then kind of isolate yourself and you lose a part of that multicultural diverse feel that you get only from going to college.”

“Of course, there is going to be a small minority of people that always has hatred, but we haven’t interacted with them” here at UW-W, Anjum said.

Jaber said with so many Muslim students at UW-W, “we just have to reach out and bring them all together.” That is exactly what UW-W’s MSA is trying to do,

To expand student involvement, MSA held a promotional event in the University Center by encouraging students to stop and participate in a poster questionnaire activity. On the poster, students were asked by MSA to write questions they have regarding the religion of Islam and what they want to learn about Islam.

The organization will continue planning events to be involved with on campus, and raise awareness about MSA. Anjum looks forward to having more members so he can plan a meeting when a speaker from Whitewater’s Mosque will come to talk with MSA.

MSA will be having a bake sale in late April to promote the new organization and also to raise money for the Whitewater Islamic Center.

“The Whitewater Islamic Center is the area’s only Mosque, providing services to Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in Whitewater, especially international students who are studying in Whitewater…and other smaller towns and villages around it,” according to whitewateric.org.  All proceeds from the bake sale will be donated to the center.

Anyone interested in MSA is welcome to stop by their meetings. Meetings are held weekly at 3 p.m. on Fridays in UC 264. Any interest or questions can be directed via email to Anjum at [email protected] or Jaber at [email protected]

For even more about the organization check out and follow MSA’s Facebook page: Whitewater MSA – Muslim Student Association.

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