Community News (V13-I9)

Islamic chaplaincy on the cards for Cornell University


ITHACA,NY–Cornell University might soon join Harvard, Princeton, and Yale in having a Muslim chaplain on campus. The Diwan Foundation, a new alumni-sponsored organization that aims to support Islamic activities on campus, has launched the initiative, the Cornell Sun reported.

“We are educating the University on the need for a space where Muslim students — regardless of their level of faith — can create a sense of community, and tackle the problems we face in the post 9/11 world,” Sara Rahman ’12, president of the Committee for the Advancement of Muslim Culture, stated in an e-mail.

A Muslim chaplain would help to solidify this sense of community and to counsel both Muslim and non-Muslim students about Islamic culture, according to the Diwan Foundation’s website.

“As students, we can only accomplish so much in addition to our school work and other activities, and having a permanent staff member to help us with programming and our needs would help Muslims have a stronger voice on campus,” Rahman said. “This is also a very important decision for future Muslim Cornellians, as parents — when they see that there is a chaplain at Cornell — would be more willing to have their kids go to Cornell.”

Flint Islamic Center doubles food drive goal

FLINT,MI–The Flint Islamic Center and the Genesee Academy doubled its food drive goal for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The drive was part of an effort to honor the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Students and citizens donated enough food to fill 10 to 11 large cardboard boxes, while the goal was to donate about five, the Flint Journal reported.

“We were thrilled, actually,” said Fahim Khan, president of the Genesee Academy school board. “The participation was overwhelming.”

A speech competition was also held to commemorate the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Trial halal food program discontinued at Wesleyan Univ.

MIDDLETOWN,CT–A trial halal food program at Wesleyan University which has been running since October, 2010, has been discontinued. The announcement came as a huge disappointment to many Muslim students.

The Director of Usdan University Center Michelle Myers-Brown told the Argus that only five or six students picked up Halal meal tickets each week. After Thanksgiving,  administrators decided to switch the program from lunch to dinner in hopes of generating more interest, then cancelled it entirely for the spring semester.

According to Ali Chaudhry ’12, who has advocated for a Halal program since his freshman year, there are only 20 to 25 students on campus who identify as Muslim. However, Chaudhry said that the relatively small number of Muslim students on campus does not mean that the program is less valuable.

“Often the school says that if the demand increases they will provide Halal food,” he said. “But that’s a really dangerous kind of argument, because then they are saying the minorities aren’t important in a way.”


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