On Friday, the Muslim Student Association hosted a lecture to educate individuals about women’s rights in Islam. The talk was given by Sheryl Siddiqui, director for American outreach/community relations for the Islamic society of Tulsa.
“We have a public lecture every semester,” said Mohamed Ismail, secretary of MSA and graduate student in mechanical engineering. “There is a lot of misunderstanding about the place of Muslim women in Islam. We hosted this because we want people to hear the truth, from us.”
Siddiqui made the lecture, which was held in the Big 12 Room of the K-State Student Union, very interactive. She started of by defining some major Islamic phrases and words. She also talked a lot about the birthrights of Muslimas and their place in the Islamic society.
Siddiqui listed off some of these rights of Muslimas that people don’t know. In Islam, females have the right to life and their own identity. They have the right to be educated and inherit from family. They also have the right to manage their own possessions and wealth; the woman works for herself. These women have a right to divorce, have a vote thats equal to a man’s and females earn their own way to heaven.
She adressed various misconceptions held by people of women in Islam, from the woman’s place in marriage to what the Quran actually says about gender equality.
“Most people tend to mix up what culture and religion permits,” Siddiqui said. “There are issues like female circumcision where one culture says something completely different from what Islam permits.”
Siddiqui also talked about what protections Islam provides for women.
“I was very impressed with the speaker, because she is very experienced with the topic, especially as she is a social worker,” said Caitlin Kelley, international student recruiter at K-State. “I love when campus hosts events like this because it opens up new voices and brings up multicultural questions.”
Ranim Altamimi, sophomore in civil engineering, said that she thought the event was a great way to educate people on the issues concerning women of Islam.
“This was a very good way to meet people and be educated about these issues,” Altamimi said.
Ismail was excited about the number of people that came to the event.
“It was a very suprising amount of people that came,” Ismail said. “I’m glad MSA was able to help host this informative event.”