• News

    Faith groups provide local solutions to climate change

    Religious and secular groups joined together on Nov. 11 at the Blackbox Theater in Rathaus Hall to talk about climate change and solutions to it. The Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding, along with other city-wide groups, created the event to unite groups of different faiths—Christianity, Islam and Judaism—as well as non-religious groups, like the New York Public Interest Research Group. Yael Rosenstock, director of programming at CERRU, said the organization’s fourth Innovation Exchange program is different than before, as it would feature different sessions. “This year, we decided to transform the structure into a more participatory event. That’s why, when the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and the Central Queens Y approached us about doing…

  • Arts & Entertainment

    “Mosque Alert” focuses on Islamophobia in society

    Students joined actors on Oct. 16, for a participatory play called “Mosque Alert” at the Kupferberg Center. “Mosque Alert” is about the construction of a new mosque in Naperville, Ill, which led to conflicts between two families of different religions. The two families learn more about each other and eventually put their differences aside. The cast consisted of actors such as Noam Ash, star of YouTube’s “My Gay Roommate.” “The creation of these characters really grew out of a development process,” Jamil Khoury, the play writer, said. “We started looking into this broader issue of the resistance of building mosques across the US.” The play began with each character’s backgrounds and belief systems. Mostafa Khalil,…

  • News

    Students remember those lost at Chapel Hill

    Queens College students honored the lives lost at Chapel Hill, North Carolina in a candlelight vigil on Feb. 18 with a wide attendance of students and faculty members. Groups such as the Muslim Student Association, Project Sunshine and Amnesty International helped organize the event. Guest speakers included Afaf Nasher and Ibrahim Mossallem, both members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Our parents came to this beautiful country to establish and give us opportunities they didn’t have from wherever they came from,” Mossallem said. “Now it’s on us, you’re all doing the right thing—educating yourselves. Don’t stop whether you’re 15 or 62, keep on educating yourself and understand how to make a difference in this world.” Deah…

  • News

    Muslim students dispel myths about Islam and extremism

    The recent attacks in Europe led to a resurgence of the role of Islam in relation to extremism. On Jan. 7, gunmen, all Muslims, attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, a French satirical magazine, which published controversial cartoons that concerned Islam. Twelve people were killed. On Feb. 15, a shooting occurred in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, which resulted in the deaths of a security guard and a director. Mahrukh Ahmed, secretary of the Muslim Students Association at Queens College, said the shooters involved in the attacks in Europe did not truly follow the faith. “In the Koran, God says that when you face the ignorant people, when you face those who…

  • News

    First Muslim college in the U.S. hopes to become a leading religious institution

    Founded in 2009 by Imam Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf and Dr. Hatem Bazian, Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., is the first Muslim college in the U.S. The new school has 31 students and rents space from a Baptist seminary; it is not yet accredited. Zaytuna aims to combine traditional Islamic teachings with a contemporary perspective. According to its website, “there are no accredited academic institutions capable of training students in the varied sciences of Islam, while also instilling in them a sophisticated understanding of the intellectual history and culture of the West. Clearly, there is an essential need for Muslim institutions that can wed Islam’s classical texts with the contemporary context.” With regards to U.S.-Islamic…