WASHINGTON, DC – Muslim students at the American University in Washington, DC, have been struggling for years to get more halal dining options to the campus and to integrate the religious minority.
“Overall, having halal meat creates presence and acknowledgment of other religious accommodations on campus,” co-president of the Muslim Student Association and junior Ammarah Rehman told The Eagle.
Rehman is one of the Muslim students in AU who has been struggling to find halal food on campus.
According to the students, only one place, Elevation Burger’s, offered halal food to the students.
“Since the options are limited, I have to resort to vegetable options to make up for the missing protein in my diet,” said freshman Alaa Hammoudeh.
Freshman Samia Warsame agreed, saying that the process of finding halal food can be draining, both physically and financially.
“I believe that the lack of halal food on campus is detrimental to student life because it really limits what we can eat, and we instead have to find halal spots off campus which takes up a lot of time, energy and money,” Warsame said.
In order to bring more halal options for Muslim students, Rehman recently started an online petition to show support for the initiative. The petition quickly gained traction on social media.
As of Nov. 16, their petition had 567 signatures and has gained recognition from MSA International and Zabihah, the world’s largest guide to halal restaurants and markets.
Fatima Munshi, MSA co-president, promised to maintain the fight for more halal options on campus.
“We don’t live in a perfect world and this is an opportunity for the Muslim community on campus to organize and advocate for the things that we believe our community deserves,” Munshi said.
Munshi is inspired by the advocacy work being done by Muslim leaders on AU’s campus.
“You look at the world around you right now, Islamophobia is at an all-time high and at the same time, we have so many great leaders in our community and so much good work being done to combat Islamophobia,” she said.