IUS professor forms Muslim Student Association

MSA creates a community of inclusion and acceptance

Jordan Gregg, Staff Reporter

The IUS Muslim Student Association, founded by Assistant Professor of Elementary Science and Technology Education Sumreen Asim, held its inaugural meeting Friday, Nov. 1.
Asim said she collaborated with other faculty members to organize an association for Muslim students. She told them, “we need to do something.”
She noticed more and more students asking her every year if there was a place at IU Southeast for Muslims to pray or if there were any organizations on campus for them to join. Asim said her headscarf makes her approachable to students.
“I am easily identifiable,” she said.

The Purpose

Idrees Mirani, a junior at IU Southeast, attended the first meeting. He looks forward to being a part of the organization and wants it to be involved in the community.
“I think this is a great opportunity for Muslim students at IUS to not only have an environment that they may feel more comfortable in as a Muslim, but also to feel represented and recognized by the university as a whole,” Mirani said.
“With the establishment of this Muslim Student Association, I believe that we are making big strides in the community and can really make a difference.”
Asim stays active in the Muslim community and wants to help fellow Muslim students at IU Southeast become involved as well.
“I bounce around a lot in the mosques and a lot of people in the community know [me],” Asim said.
She also helps with storytime at the Louisville Islamic Center of Compassion. That played a part, Asim said, in her students asking her to coordinate the foundation of the club.
“I guess the word got out from there,” Asim said.

The Future of MSA

“I want to give them a voice,” Asim said. “I feel that Muslims are marginalized; they don’t have a voice.”
“We always have a negative perception in the media, unfortunately, and I want to change that.”
She hopes that the MSA raises awareness for Muslim students and their needs. For example, Ramadan is a Muslim holiday celebrated through fasting, prayer, reflection and community. This year, the event occurs during the final exam period.
Asim stressed its importance for Muslims and how Ramadan can involve long hours of observance well into the evenings. She hopes the MSA can grow and help bring awareness to faculty in acknowledging Muslim students’ needs when it comes to practicing their religion and providing options to these students.
Mirani would like to see the organization volunteer in the community and conduct outreach events
“I want to shine a light on what Islam truly is with the help of the MSA,” Mirani said.