Reflections from the MSA

Sarah B.
Sarah B.
May 22, 2018 · 7 min read

Purpose

Funny enough, you would be hard pressed to find a unified answer among members to the question: what is the MSA’s purpose?

  • Religious education
  • Social events & fostering friendship
  • Community outreach/charity
  • Youth outreach & mentorship
  • Interfaith & da’wah

Identity Politics & Misguided Activism

The misconception that being Muslim is an “identity” (the same way being part of an ethnic group is) has led us to adopt the language of identity politics and let it guide our activism.

Ego-Driven Activism

On a community-wide level, we lack an understanding of the Islamic concept of leadership, which stands in such stark contrast to the Neoliberal, ego-based one. It’s difficult to summarize the issue of letting our egos direct our actions, but I’ve tried to list some of the ways in which it manifests:

  • Criticism is often perceived as a personal attack, and people allow their personal disagreements to spill over into community organizing.
  • Instead of giving each other the benefit of the doubt, we assume the worst and perceive every disagreement or miscommunication as a personal affront.
  • We judge people by the public image they purport, rather than their character & actions on a more private level.
  • Related to the previous point: we elevate people who make a lot of public statements and frequently declare their allegiances, stances, and opinions.

Dunya & Akhira

  • SeekersHub: free online classes, articles, & podcasts.
  • Yaqeen Institute: they’ve published several longform articles on major issues in Islam, can’t recommend them enough.
  • A Google drive of texts on various areas of Islamic knowledge, including guides on how to go about reading them. Read the document in the main folder first. Make du’a for the folks who made this.

    Sarah B.

    Written by

    Sarah B.

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