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BMSA builds on club and culture awareness

by Shelby Toth - Executive Editor
Wed, Feb 20th 2019 03:00 pm

In a celebration of culture, the Brockport Muslim Student Association (BMSA) held a three-day event series called Deen Week. Deen is an Arabic word meaning religion. The events ran from February 12 to 14 and included a day to try on a hijab, a day to create your own face and hair masks and a discussion by Professor Carl Davila on women and the hijab in Islam.

According to BMSA Treasurer Umaima Jamal, the event series was an attempt at increasing campus knowledge about the club members religion.

“BMSA arranged these events to raise awareness about Islam,” Jamal said. “... We also wanted to put something out that was interactive and fun for students.”

According to Jamal, the crowd favorite event seemed to be creating facemasks at self care day. One student who enjoyed that event was Adeola Akinyemi.

“There was a turmeric mix with honey, a coffee brown sugar scrub and a coconut oil scrub that helps with dark circles, bacne and to tone one’s skin,” Akinyemi said. “There was also hair products that two members of the club use and it helped a lot with hair growth. I liked actually making the masks on my own and getting it to a certain consistency that I like and also learning the benefits of each ingredient.”

Akinyemi, Treasurer of a different culture club on campus, African Student Union (ASU), explained the significance of the clubs attending each other’s events.

“I find it extremely important to attend other culture club’s events because we need to stick together and support one another, Akinyemi said. “We can learn from every culture.”

On Thursday, Professor Davila spoke in Union room 114 on women’s dress in the Islamic faith. He began his presentation by reading a few passages from the Qu’ran in Arabic, the original language of the sacred text. He then explained that only two passages in the Qu’ran mention women’s dress, while also noting that a special attention is paid to how women dress rather than men. He then spent time exploring the two main types of clothing referenced in the Qu’ran for women to wear, one of which was the jilbab. According to Davila, the jilbab refers to a women’s outer garment. Davila emphasized that within the Qu’ran, nothing specifically refers to coverage of the face.

After his talk, Davila opened the floor to questions. One student member of BMSA shared how something she had read in a novel helped her to find peace with whether to wear a hijab or niqab, which Davila encouraged greatly.

“That’s all you need,” Davila said. “That sense of peace that you achieved when you read that, that’s a gift. That is a gift from the divine, and you should never, ever turn your back on that feeling of peace. That’s the real sin, the real transgression; when the divine gives us something beautiful… that’s precious, because there are billions of people who live without it.”

Davila also discussed those of a faith who try and push what their thoughts are about that religion on to other people.

“It is your own lack of faith that compels you, that drives you to force your opinion on other people so that you will not feel that emptiness that you’re already feeling because you don’t have it in yourself and you don’t know what to do about it,” Davila said.

Professor Davila’s talk was treasurer Jamal’s favorite event.

“Knowledge is limitless and it’s always beneficial to know more,” Jamal said. “It was a great experience and I got to learn a lot of things.”

From ASU to BMSA, different culture clubs on Brockport’s campus utilize its events to spread awareness of the club members cultures to the student masses on campus.


brockport.editor@gmail.com | @sheltoth98

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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