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Muslim students reach out to everyone

Muslim+Students+Association+Vice+President+Yaser+Khohar%2C+19%2C+Bio+Engineering+major%2C+chops+potatoes+at+a+soup+kitchen.+The+students+went+to+a+soup+kitchen+on+Nov.+11+to+help+prepare+food+for+the+needy.
Muslim Students Association Vice President Yaser Khohar, 19, Bio Engineering major, chops potatoes at a soup kitchen. The students went to a soup kitchen on Nov. 11 to help prepare food for the needy.

Muslim Students Association Vice President Yaser Khohar, 19, Bio Engineering major, chops potatoes at a soup kitchen. The students went to a soup kitchen on Nov. 11 to help prepare food for the needy.

Muslim Students Association Vice President Yaser Khohar, 19, Bio Engineering major, chops potatoes at a soup kitchen. The students went to a soup kitchen on Nov. 11 to help prepare food for the needy.

Mary Altshuller

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Muslims want to be like everyone else in American society: they want to work hard, contribute to our society, and be accepted by everyone. The Muslim students at Moorpark College are no different and are seeking ways to help in the community.

The Muslim Students Association meet every other Monday evening and met for the second time October 30, at 5 p.m., in Fountain Hall, Room 117. Their mission is to help other Muslim students and be proactive on campus. They discussed ways to bring in more Muslim students and to encourage each other with various social aspects effecting their lives while in college.

One way in which to help each other is to offer mental health counseling and legal help. Another way to help out in their local community would be to serve in the soup kitchen at the Islamic Center of the Conejo Valley in Newbury Park or at local food banks.

President Faisan Anwar, 19, Biology major, said they’ve been brainstorming the last couple of meetings to figure out how to get more Muslim students to join their group.

“Maybe we could have some posters made up to post along Raider Walk,” suggested Anwar. “But we want to make people aware that we’re here on campus.

“We also want to have lots of bonding and spiritual events. We need to be approachable for everybody, not just Muslims, and be welcoming to all.”

They are seeking a room for prayer and meditation and are open to sharing the room with people of other faiths.

“We feel a need to [come together] because there is so much confusion about Muslims in general and we want our organization to spread awareness, to clear things up on misconceptions about Muslims,” said Anwar.

Their vision to support other Muslim students on Moorpark College’s campus is to work with Muslim Students Association West. This is an umbrella organization that is over all MSAs throughout Southern California. They have other chapters at UCLA, UC Irvine, and UC Riverside. The Moorpark College chapter works with the alumni to get other students involved.

Moorpark College remains a relatively safe place for Muslim students on campus.

“We are a liberal campus and have a diverse population,” said Anwar.

However, the MSA is not oblivious to prejudice on a national scale.

The Muslim travel ban, issued by President Donald J. Trump, has had an impact on many US Muslims and Moorpark College Muslim students are aware of this effect. Vice President Yaser Khohar, 19, Bio Engineering major, said what he felt about the travel ban.

“America is a place where all immigrants should be allowed to live here,” said Khohar. “Immigrants help our society. Banning immigrants would hurt our society because they do so many things for America. We’re a melting pot.”

Maryam Muska, 18, Political Science major, said that President Trump took a wrong approach on the matter.

“I don’t think the president should take this kind of stance,” said Muska. “It was taken in the heat of the moment and there are more domestic terror acts. We should be creating a community to see us as a neighbor. I think [Trump] should think first.”

This sentiment was echoed by Anwar, who is not a U.S. citizen and is from India.

“It hurts me personally. My father has a lot of trouble when he goes abroad. To go back to India, we’d have trouble coming back in. When [Muslim] students can’t come back in to resume their studies, it’s hard for that student. It hurts more than it helps.”

Muslims, like everyone else in America, want to raise a family here, have their kids educated here, and contribute to society.

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