Muslim Student Association to be more active at BC

Ruben Perez, Reporter

The Bakersfield College’s Muslim Student Association began last winter about two months before the semester ended.  Marshel Blackmon, Inter-Club Counsel Representative, said the club was started by a small group of Muslim women.

“We just kind of got together because more people ask us ‘Why do you wear the scarves? Why do you dress this way?’ and they wanted clarification so it started with us and then it went to everyone.”

In the early days of the club it was just a small group of student meeting in the library but the group has grown larger and has already put on an event.  Last semester the group put together a Q-and-A with prominent members of the local Muslim community to answer questions about their religion and dispel any misconceptions people may have had.

Club president Shahad Alnagar said the main purpose of the club is to educate and promote the positivity of Islam.

“You see it on TV all the time, all the negative things about Islam,” said Alnagar. “We want to correct all those and show people what we really are and what we really do.”

An idea brought up by Blackmon was to promote literacy because their Prophet Muhammad was an illiterate man.

“It’s not enough that they see we’re Muslim,” said Blackmon. “We have to show them that we’re Muslim. We’re not converting anybody, but we just want them to be open.”

Club member Izaldean Gazali said that in the hadith, the words of Muhammad, it shows how important knowledge is.

“He’ll say, for example, one hadith that he who seeks a wake for knowledge, Allah makes the way easier for him.”

The group also has a Facebook page that is used to share information in case a student cannot make it to the meetings.

“We don’t have to meet every week but we have to meet and we have to communicate and the Facebook page is one of the ways that we can communicate,” said Blackmon.

As the club is fairly new, they haven’t had much exposure and have been contemplating ways to get involved in the community with public events.  “We’re definitely planning events,” said Alnagar. “We don’t have any specific ones in mind at the moment but we’ll get into those. You’re going to see a lot more of us this semester than last.”