Islam Awareness Week Celebrated at Indiana University

November 10, 2000

Source: Indiana Daily Student

On November 10, 2000, the Indiana Daily Student reported that "Ashton Center's Clubhouse at Indiana University was filled Wednesday night with posters, maps, postcards and various other items showcasing different international cultures as part of Islam Awareness Week. The event, 'Sounds and Visions of Islam,' was sponsored and presented by the Muslim Student Union. The decorations served to illustrate the history and present-day life of Muslim cultures across the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa, Saudi Arabia, the Balkans, Spain and the United States. The presentation began with an open house of booths, where representatives from different countries presented the history and traditional aspects of Muslim culture. Volunteers wore traditional Muslim clothing and introduced calligraphy, art, mosques and pictures depicting their country...Sophomore Maryam Roohani, a representative for the Afghanistan booth, said America presents great influences for the Muslim religion and culture. She said the beliefs and traditions of Muslim culture are the same, but such aspects as clothing and language bestow differences and hardships among those residing in America. 'For me, it's a good thing to be in America because you meet a lot of new people with different religions and cultures,' Roohani said. 'But it's also so hard to be a Muslim here because there are different values, especially when you're young.' Social Activities Chair of the Muslim Student Union and a representative for the Pakistan booth, sophomore Tayyab Akram, said the emigration to the United States from Pakistan has delivered feelings of unity and comfort...The presentation continued with a short 10-minute speech from each representative, discussing the history, prayers and the present-day life of Muslims remaining in each country. Poems, songs, resuscitation and a call for prayer followed. 'In different cultures, there are many different ways to call for prayer,' Vice President of the Muslim Student Union, sophomore Naimah Bilal said. 'Opposed to the horn in Judaism and the bells for Christianity, Muslims respond to the human voice.' Bilal said the human voice represents how Islam transcends all cultural barriers. She said by following the words of an African American, the first to call for prayer, the Muslim religion expresses diversity and multiculturalism. Although not as many attended the event as organizers expected, some attendees expressed feelings of pleasure and contentment."