Michigan, 13 Jumadil Akhir 1436/2 April 2015 (MINA) – In a multi-religious community, Muslim students in Michigan State University (MSU) are keen on preserving their religious practices and finding time to take a break and pray to Allah in their diverse campus.
“We would like to schedule activities around prayer, however, as college students we don’t always have that ability,” dietetics junior Katy Hollobaugh told The State News.
Hollobaugh is a practicing Muslim who prays five time a day. For her, the prayer is the food of the soul that usually takes five minutes that never interfere with her schedule, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
International relations junior Mohammed Rathur is another MSU student who says he can’t miss his daily prayers.
Rathur said he has an application on his phone called iPray, which helps to give accurate prayer times no matter where someone is. “Muslims are such a huge minority in this country … (but) it’s a growing population,” Rathur said.
In campus, Rathur said he has never experienced any kind of hate crime. Speaking to his roommates or people in his floor, he was able to correct misconceptions about his faith. “There is not a clear or proper or fair view of what (a) Muslim is,” Rathur said.
For students wearing hijab, or Islamic headscarf, the life was not much difficult in MSU campus. Hollobaugh said she has experienced an increased level of respect toward her. “I feel like when I’m wearing it, people are talking to me and listening to me for my thoughts,” Hollobaugh said.
“The idea behind wearing it, in addition to modesty, is to concentrate on what is on the inside rather than the outside.”
She added that she usually meets people who are curious about her faith. “People are worried that Muslims are easily offended and I would like people to know we are not afraid to answer questions as long as they are not meant to be offensive,” Hollobaugh said.
Since the 9/11 attacks, US Muslims, estimated between 6-8 million, have complained of discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.
A US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith. A Gallup poll also found that the majority of US Muslims are patriot and loyal to their country and are optimistic about their future.
An Economist/YouGov poll found that a large majority of Americans believe that US Muslims are victims of discrimination amid recent attacks against the community. (T/P011/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)