Through Friday, the SMU Muslim Students’ Association will be sponsoring “Islam Awareness Week 2004,” a time to introduce the Hilltop community to the values, beliefs and lifestyle of this growing religion.

“Islam Awareness Week takes place at various schools across the country,” senior Yasmeen Tadia said.

Drawing attention to the diversity of Islam will show, “that Islam is prominent not only in the Middle East, but it is growing in America as well,” sophomore Mahnaz Rahman said.

America alone is home to over six million Muslims, and this number is growing.

Islam continues to draw followers at an estimated rate of 135,000 converts per year.

“[Islam] is the fastest growing religion in the world,” Tadia said, “and we hope to increase awareness about the religion.”

According to the Islam Guide Web site (, the Islamic religion is founded upon five pillars – the testimony of faith, prayer, giving zakat (support of the needy), fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

In addition to bringing an understanding of the religion to the SMU campus, the Muslim Students’ Association also sees this week as an opportunity to break down preconceived notions about Islam…


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