MSA to host ‘Muslims in China’ event in late March

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Photo provided by Abdallah Aljerjawi

The MSA Club researches information for upcoming “Muslims in China” event. From left, Arabic teacher Salma Halabi, Abdallah Aljerjawi, Omar Busaidy and Iman Suleman.

Iman Suleman, Copy Editor

“Muslims who are being tortured and discriminated against in East Asia” will be the topic of the Muslim Student Association’s next “Muslims in China” virtual event, scheduled for late March. 

During the event, MSA president and senior Abdallah Aljerjawi, senior Omar Busaidy, sophomore Iman Suleman, junior Najiha Zaman and Arabic teacher Samar Halabi will present their research.

“Everyone will have a part,” Aljerjawi said. “Everyone will speak.”

The event will include follow-up discussions and a Q&A session. 

“We will educate people about all the angles of the event, which is history, how it started and how China’s actions affected other religions, especially Islam,” Aljerjawi said. “We will explain the reason why countries are afraid to pressure the Chinese government because it will have a lot of consequences, politically and economically. And then we’ll explain why Islam is getting attacked particularly.”

At the end of their presentation, there will be emphasis on the power of change and what the youth can do to help Muslims.

“After that, we will have a slide that answers the question ‘How can we help?’ And in this specific topic, we’ll talk about how the only thing we can do right now as students is education,” Aljerjawi said.

Social Studies teacher Matthew Hammon will give extra credit for attending this event. Aljerjawi has created events similar to this one since the beginning of the school year. Muslims in France and the Israeli-Palestinian events are also in the club’s future. A devout Muslim, Aljerjawi is passionate when it comes to spreading awareness about Muslims, sparking discourse and educating people about Islamic issues. 

“What’s going on is wrong and people don’t even know what’s going on,” Aljerjawi said. “Especially here in the US, no one speaks about politics, and no one really cares about foreign issues. So, I thought, you know, maybe the reason why a lot of Americans are not educated about these kinds of topics is simply because the American culture is not very open on different views.”

Aljerjawi initially created the event in partnership with the Council of American-Islamic Relations and the University of Houston MSA, but the Bellaire MSA club has decided to organize the event independently. 

“We started with educating ourselves,” Aljerjawi said. “I had to do research and had other students do research. We had 3-4 meetings where we were just discussing the meaning behind all these activities, and the political views, and all the different angles. We were just trying to educate ourselves to be prepared and ready for these kinds of events, which I’m glad that we did. Right now I feel like we’re doing very well.”

Aljerjawi said that many Americans are not very knowledgeable about foreign issues. He adds that educated people are responsible for helping others.

“We have to spread awareness,” Aljerjawi said. “We have to make people understand that and acknowledge these issues. We have to spread these events simply because if today we are dealing with China against Muslims, who knows who is next? If we care about each other, we prevent a bigger issue in life.”