Over the past weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in an event that was both inspirational and educational. The event I am referring to was MSA West, hosted at the University of California Davis. After getting through the near 7 even hour drive there my expectations were high. Because after traveling in a car for about 7 hours my thoughts going in were “this better be worth it”. My expectations were not only met, but exceeded throughout they entire event. The duration of the event was about 2 days, where the second day during UMMA tours, UCLA MSA leadership shined. Many of our brothers and sisters from various project admin took the lead in running the workshops. For example, workshops about incarcerated youth, undocumented students, conflict resolution, and more, all were lead by our fellow MSAers. The conflict resolution workshop conducted by Omar Zerka, I felt was one that I gained the most from. The method to go about resolving any issues or disagreements, was clearly given and the workshop overall was quite engaging, requiring for significant participation from those in attendance in order for the workshop to function.
Another important topic I feel I must take the opportunity to comment on, relates to the events which took place at the University of California Irvine’s campus. 11 members of our Muslim community were improperly treated and unjustly dealt with for practicing a constitutional right, of all Americans. I know that the event I’m talking about has been mentioned many times before and you may be overwhelmed with the plethora of opinions about it, but unfortunately here’s one more.
Whether you agree with the approach or not you must admit that the actions taken by the 11 UCI students accomplished an increased awareness of the current situation on the UCI campus, regarding the Palestinian Israeli conflict. It has been brought to light how UCI has become a hotspot for the issue. I not only agree with how they dealt with it I feel it is our duty to support them. Remember, as a Muslim you should always give your fellow Muslim brothers and sisters at least 70 excuses before reaching your final opinion, and you should never pass judgment on anyone for that is not your right, judgment of intention is only determined by Allah(swt). So for all those who feel this event has caused for us to take two steps back, I recommend for you to reassess your opinions and determine whether it is opinions against our fellow brothers and sisters which will cause for us to stand still.
Mohammed Raouf Iqbal