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February 15, 2008
By Jeannette Smith
When asked about prejudice, Ahmed Abdel Dayem, president of the Muslim Student Association, reflects on a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Justice cannot be for one side alone. It must be for all sides.”
“Echoing that same noble sentiment — with such growing animosity in our world today — it is our collective imperative as a society to help reclaim the teachings of peace and compassion from the talons of racism and hatred which run amok today,” Dayem said.
In that spirit of cooperation, the Muslim Student Association will host a day-long discussion of tolerance called “Peace Not Prejudice” on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom.
Dayem said the program, which is open to all students, has goals of educating the community on peace and equality and fostering understanding about the true teachings of Islam. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. with guest speakers at 11:15 a.m. and noon. A question-and-answer session will begin at 12:45 p.m. and an interactive open dialogue and round table discussion will be held from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Aminah Assilmi, president of the Arkansas-based nonprofit, International Union of Muslim Women, will present “The Status of Women in Islam: Rights and Obligations” at 11:15 a.m. Assilmi lived as a Christian for many years, converting to the Islamic faith after taking a college class that changed her beliefs.
Mr. Hussam Ayloush, the Southern California executive director of the Council on American-Islmaic Relations (CAIR), will present “Islam: the Faith of Fostering Understanding Not Intolerance” at noon.
CAIR was founded in1994 and has 32 chapters in 20 states and one chapter in Canada. CAIR members value equality for all Americans, celebrate diversity through programs, and travel the globe for youth leadership symposiums, civil rights cases, lectures and interfaith dialogues.
This event is co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, CAIR, the Northern Nevada Muslim Community and the National Muslim Student Association.