For Muslim Students, a Debate on Inclusion

Amir Mertaban vividly recalls sitting at his university’s recruitment table for the Muslim Students Association a few years ago when an attractive undergraduate flounced up in a decidedly un-Islamic miniskirt, saying “Salamu aleykum,” or “Peace be upon you,” a standard Arabic greeting, and asked to sign up.

Mr. Mertaban also recalls that his fellow recruiter surveyed the young woman with disdain, arguing later that she should not be admitted because her skirt clearly signaled that she would corrupt the Islamic values of the other members.

“I knew that brother, I knew him very well; he used to smoke weed on a regular basis,” said Mr. Mertaban, now 25, who was president of the Muslim student group at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, from 2003 to 2005.

Pointing out the hypocrisy, Mr. Mertaban won the argument that the group could no longer reject potential members based on rigid standards of Islamic practice.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

3 comments on “For Muslim Students, a Debate on Inclusion

  1. drummie says:

    These students are grappling with the same problems we have seen in the church lately. How much can be watered down and still keep the faith? Fortunatly, it seems they are going about things in such a way to assimilate into the culture where they live and not trying to take over by violance. Only time will tell however.

  2. John Wilkins says:

    this is, of course, how islam is going to change – by other Muslims who go back and take Islam with a dollop of liberal protestant Christianity back to their countries.

  3. Wilfred says:

    Agreed! There’s nothing like a dollop of liberal protestant theology to weaken and ultimately destroy a faith.