TORCH DOCS: Muslim Student Association

Gina Palermo

Gina Palermo and Angelica Acevedo

In light of the recent contentious rhetoric from the White House concerning immigrants and refugees from a number of Muslim-majority countries, the Torch decided to interview some of the members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

Cousins Seid and Ibrahim Mulic, the president and vice president, respectively, of MSA enlightened us on what it means to be a Muslim in the United States. They welcomed us into their prayer room and taught us some of the basic principles of Islam: shahadah, salat, zakat, sawm and hajj.

Many students aren’t aware that St. John’s University has an association of Muslim students, which is why they want to reach out to them—to let them know that they’re very much a part of the St. John’s community.

Seid believes that fear among the Muslim students on campus, is one of the reasons the organization has been silent for the past couple of years. “Muslims on campus started becoming afraid of their identity,” Seid said.

Ultimately, what the sophomores mainly want to instill in people’s mindsets is that the religion of Islam isn’t synonymous with terror.

“The biggest misconception I’ve seen of my religion is probably everything,” Seid said.

Ibrahim added, “The word Islam means peace … That’s like saying peace is a religion of violence.”