Mohiuddin Discusses Muslim Community Relations with Azusa Pacific Students

November 26, 2013

Last week, MPAC's Communications Coordinator, Marium Mohiuddin, spoke to a class at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian university in Southern California, about the Muslim community in Southern California and how the religion of Islam affects community relations. 

The group of about 20 students initially met at the Islamic Center of Southern California for Friday prayers. The students, some of whom had been to a mosque and some of whom were studying Islam as part of their degrees, were welcomed by the community, were able to listen to the Friday sermon and take part in the prayers. 

Mohiuddin and the class then walked over to Azusa Pacific University, where the students were able to ask more thorough questions about what they saw, what they heard and what they did. Many said they were surprised they were greeted so warmly, as they felt they were intruding upon a private time for Muslims.

"A recent Pew Research study reported that the best way to combat anti-Muslim rhetoric is for a non-Muslim to know a Muslim and vice versa. By all of you being at prayer, you have taken one step closer to eradicating misinformation and to understanding the other," Mohiuddin said. "This ultimately is what all Muslims are seeking, to bring communities and people together." 

The in-depth conversation explored the challenges of growing up Muslim in a predominantly Christian community, wearing a headscarf and maneuvering through family dynamics. The students then went on to discuss what drives the Muslim community, with many wondering if Muslims proselytize or evangelize as it is the largest growing religion in the world.

Though many do, Mohiuddin said most Muslims live by the message of the Quran that states "O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware" (49:13).

This guides Muslims with the edict that God is the ultimate judge, and as humans we are here to learn and get to know one another. This act alone exemplifies worshiping God and observing His commandments.

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