BIRMINGHAM – Amid rising Islamophobic threats, Muslim students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, hosted the annual Islam Awareness week, to reach out to the wider community and correct misconceptions about their faith.
“Hopefully through education we can show that Islam truly is not about what ISIS preaches or what other radical Islam groups preach but Islam is about love and respect,” Mahad Amjad, the President of the UAB Muslim Student Association, told ABC 3340 on Tuesday, February 21.
The event, kicked off on Monday night, included a discussion on UAB’s campus about women and Islam.
It follows a series of hate threats to the Muslim community, the latest of which came last weekend when Birmingham Islamic Society received a “run or die” threat.
Amjad said according to the SPLC there was a 200% increase in anti-Muslim hate groups in just one year.
Hala Sabatto, one of the women panelists, said Muslims need to be the ones telling their stories.
“As a female American Muslim I think it’s really important to narrate my own story,” she said.
“There are a lot of misconceptions out there and it’s really important for somebody who is visibly Muslim, a practicing Muslim, narrate these stories and not have somebody who just researched it or studied it.”
Other events planned for Islam Awareness week include a conversation about finding common ground between faiths, including Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
Another event will be hosted on Friday, inviting students to have lunch with a Muslim bunch from 2-3 pm outside the Hill Student Center.