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Discover Islam Week aims to educate, erase stereotypes

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) of Ohio State kicked off its fourth annual Discover Islam Week Monday, lending students a broader perspective of Islam and society.

The event, formally known as Islamic Awareness Week, is also aimed at erasing negative stereotypes and fear often associated with the religion.

“The purpose of Discover Islam Week is to invite people to hear and learn more about Islam and what it really is,” said Maria Ahmad, a fourth-year in speech and hearing sciences and president of the MSA. “Islam has been in the forefront of many things in the news lately and we are holding these events to help people become informed about what they hear.”

Discover Islam week consists of learning sessions and speakers on a variety of topics ranging from women in Islam to the values that the U.S. and Islam share. On Friday, there will be a speaker discussing the similarities between Christianity and Islam. All are invited to attend the MSA’s weekly prayer on Friday.

Although Haroun Dada, a second-year in biology and international studies and outreach chairperson of the MSA, said discrimination against Muslims at OSU is uncommon, he emphasized the importance of these events for non-Muslims, who he said often go uneducated about this religion.

“For the most part, the aim of the week is to demystify certain stereotypes, and with that teach the truth about a lot of different issues and topics because people don’t really know that much,” Dada said.

Jasmine Perkins, a second-year in sociology, said she plans to attend some of these events to better educate herself about Islam.

“I think with the education programs that Ohio State has, this would be a great opportunity for people to learn, and I’m definitely attending those events,” Perkins said.

For students interested in receiving more information about Discover Islam week, the MSA will have a booth set up on the Oval between noon and 2 p.m. all week.

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