MPAC Brings “Let’s Be Honest” Forum to UC Irvine

May 15, 2014

This week, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine and MPAC partnered to host a community forum called “Let's Be Honest: Getting Beyond the Taboos of Our Community." The conversation featured MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati, marriage and family therapist Noha Alshugairi, Islamic Center of Irvine Resident Scholar Sheikh Jamaal Diwan and MSU alum Zainab Nazar Khan. Moderated by MPAC’s Director of Policy and Programming, Edina Lekovic, the forum featured frank dialogue on dating and marriage, gender relations, culturalism and racism, parent-child relationships and political activism in student life.

"As we talk about taboo issues, we need to keep in mind the extent and scale by which these issues are happening," said Alshugairi. "A taboo issue that concerns me greatly right now is our young people's alienation from Islam. More and more young people are telling me that Islam does not click for them. It does not hold meaning and value for them. This saddens me greatly and it just pierces my heart."

Since Summer 2011, MPAC has held a series of “Let’s Be Honest” forums in the Washington, DC, area and Southern California, which have been attended by more than 1,000 community members.

"This event is about breaking the silence between generations, cultures and genders," Lekovic said before the conversation started. "We have to face the tough issues head on and talk frankly about how to handle them, whether it’s about marriage, identity, sexuality, mental health, sectarian relations or interfaith relations."

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