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The UTSA Muslim Student Association (MSA) recently participated in Islamic Awareness Week, an event that aimed to bring forth interfaith dialogue, understanding and to clear commonly held misconceptions regarding Islam.

Each day had a theme that was presented to UTSA students. Topics included Science in Islam, Jesus in the Qur’an, Muhammad, Current Events, Art and History in Islam and Women in Islam. There was even an area where students could receive Henna tattoos.

“The main purpose of Islamic Awareness Week is to encourage dialogue between people of all sorts of faiths. It’s really breathtaking to hear everyone’s opinions, and despite the differences, we really just need to work together for a common goal,” said MSA’s President Ahmad Kaki. “We aim to create friendships over religion or over non-religion. Whether you’re Muslim or not, MSA’s aim is to create bonding between Atheists, Muslims, Christians, Jews or any other faith”

Students had the opportunity to visit the MSA booth, located at the intersection between McKinney Humanities and the Multidisciplinary Studies Building.

“I’m happy people got to ask me questions about my faith. I feel like we really informed people about what Islam was really about.” said Anab Attayeb, who wears a headscarf mostly worn by Muslim women as a sign of modesty. “I’m really glad that they’re here and I’m glad that they’re debunking all the stereotypes that are held by the general public,” said Chris Campos, after talking with a group of Muslim students at their booth.

There are over 2.6 million Muslims in the United States. 421,000 of them live in Texas—more than any other state. UTSA hosts over 1,000 Muslims, 500 of which are international students from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, India, Indonesia and Kuwait.

The role of MSA on campus does not only serve as a place of meeting for UTSA’s growing Muslim population, but also as the organization hosts rooms for three of the five daily prayers Muslims are required to fulfill.

They also host a weekly Friday Prayer, or Jumma Prayer, with a short sermon. For More information about MSA visit http://utsa-msa.org.

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