Chicago – A spotlight was directed toward the Muslim Students Association
of Loyola University Chicago when it was profiled by Tribune staff reporter
Barbara Brotman in “Muslim youth forge own path in America” (Page 1, Dec.
23). With the spring semester under way, the MSA’s Executive Board has been
deluged with reactions from fellow students and the Muslim community at
large, several from beyond the U.S.
On behalf of the board, it is in light of this fallout that we pose our
The reactions have varied as greatly as the students featured in the
article. A few of us have been accused of being too conservative in our
Islam (regarding the solution to the mosque space issue), while others have
deemed us liberal for the lifestyles portrayed by some of our members.
These diverse reactions underscore the fact that the Muslim community is
not monolithic, that Muslims practice their religion to varying degrees
just as the faithful of all religions do.
It is fallacious to deduce the piety of the MSA as a whole from the handful
of Muslim students depicted. The MSA only encompasses those Muslims on
campus who choose to participate in the organization. For every one person
who actively takes part, there are several others who have little
association with the MSA, if at all.
The Muslims characterized in the article represent those along two sides of
the spectrum, but by no means are they illustrative of the whole