USU Will Host Multiple Events, Keynote Speaker in Celebration of Ramadan
By Andrea DeHaan |
LOGAN — Utah State University will host multiple events in celebration of Ramadan from April 12-14. On the initiative of Muslim students, there are numerous departments, centers and colleges working together with student volunteers to offer events honoring the ninth month in the Islamic calendar known as Ramadan — a time when observant Muslims engage in fasting, prayer and communal festivities.
“Being a Muslim student at USU, I have personally experienced the joy and tranquility that comes with observing this month, but I have also felt a sense of isolation,” said Rana Abulbasal, event co-organizer and Ph.D. candidate in sociology. “Thus, the program was initiated with the aim of offering support to Muslim students, faculty and staff during Ramadan and sharing the splendor of this month with the wider USU community."
Professor Bonnie Glass-Coffin, event co-organizer and director of the Interfaith Leadership Certificate program, said that “cultivating relationships with those of other faith traditions and gaining appreciative knowledge about those traditions are important building blocks of interfaith cooperation.”
Glass-Coffin said that this year’s broad-based support has made it possible to expand their offerings and “to allow for both.”
2023 Ramadan events at USU are structured around the theme of “Owning Our Narrative: Sharing Our Stories” and will feature keynote speaker Khaled Beydoun, author of “The New Crusade: Islamophobia and the Global War on Muslims.” A law professor at Wayne State University, Beydoun served on an advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has been featured in major news outlets including The New York Times, CNN and the BBC. He also has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
Beydoun’s keynote presentation on April 13 will include a one-on-one conversation with Patrick Mason, Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at USU, to explore similarities and differences between Islamophobia and the history of aggression against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of USU’s new Heravi Peace Institute will also meet with Beydoun during a roundtable discussion co-sponsored by the institute and USU’s Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research.
Glass-Coffin sees the university’s celebration as “an opportunity to come together as we reflect on values that transcend religious difference and that point to our common humanity — values of charity, of compassion and of service to a greater whole.”
Scheduled offerings include a “Fasting as Devotion” panel to explore the topic from different religious traditions, events highlighting Muslim students and their stories, and a “fast-a-thon,” which will encourage an all-day campuswide fast in support of USU’s Muslim community. The three-day series will conclude with the annual community iftar, a meal to break the daily fast.
During the 30-day celebration of Ramadan from March 23 to April 21, the university will also offer evening iftar meals for students and provide spaces for drop-in prayer and reflection.
“The USU Interfaith Initiative is proud to host events this Ramadan season and grateful to be joined in this work by so many other sponsors on campus and in our community,” Glass-Coffin said.
In addition to the Interfaith Student Association, events are supported by more than 25 units, including USU Extension, the Office of Global Engagement and seven colleges.
For a full listing of events, visit https://chass.usu.edu/interfaith/resources/on-campus/ramadan or http://interfaith.usu.edu.
A cornerstone of Utah State University, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences brings together faculty members engaged in original research and creative activities to teach and mentor students who aspire to be leaders in their professions and communities. Degrees in humanities and social sciences cultivate highly-adaptable professional skills in students through teaching effective communication, research, data analysis, and creative problem-solving.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Director of the Interfaith Leadership Certificate Program
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
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