The Muslim Student Association is not only for students of Muslim faith. Their club welcomes students of any background, religion, or race, and their goal is to promote diversity and create a safe space.
The club founders’ vision was to build a community for people to feel represented within while also promoting awareness of their faith to non-Muslims. They envisioned bringing the Muslim community together and promoting events about the similarities and differences between faiths.
“We don’t just focus on one religion. We focus on the bigger picture,” says the club’s vice president, Laiba Musab. “We all have the same foundations: Unity, community, peace, harmony, truthfulness, and charity, so it’s more about those values.”
“It’s not religion-dominant, but culture-dominant,” she continues. “We are here to show the values, not teach them.”
The MSA provides a way for students to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about student life and individual challenges free of judgement.
“I joined to see more representation, a place to share views and not be judged for [them],” says the club’s president, Wajeeha Rahman. “People seemed to have their separate, small groups, but the MSA organizes events where people of so many different backgrounds come together just to celebrate their shared views and differences.”
She adds that the club is focused on building bridges across cultural gaps.
The MSA hosts bi-weekly meetings in the Multi-Faith Centre on the third floor of the Fir building on the KPU Surrey campus.
“The first meeting, I didn’t feel like an outsider. I felt at home,” says Musab. “I wanted to get involved in some student life on campus and they offered me to organize an event and I felt useful.”
“It’s very welcoming from the start. You feel like you can get close to these people,” says Rahman. “It’s built on connection. We are together to be together.”
She says that members come to meetings to talk about how their semester and life is going. They focus on how they can encourage each other to be better people.
All of their events are free for KPU students, regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.
The next event the MSA will be hosting is their fifth annual Ramadan Iftar dinner. It will be held on May 12 at the Taste of Lahore restaurant in Surrey. The gala starts at 7:00 pm and goes until 10:00 pm. They will have a comedy table, photo booth, and dinner. The event is free for students.
“The biggest takeaway we want for students is the experience and the memories,” says Rahman. “We want you to have a good time.”