Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad Sabir Abbassi’

Muslims seek an area on campus for prayer

Mohammad Sabir Abbassi stands in front of a hallway of the tech-mall where Muslims have been asked not to pray for the sake of public safety

Mohammad Sabir Abbassi stands in front of a hallway of the tech-mall where Muslims have been asked not to pray for the sake of public safety. (Photo: Russ Lindquist)

By Russ Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Mohammad Sabir Abbassi, a Grossmont student aimed at a career in Public Health and Social Work, is advocating for his fellow Muslim students on campus to have a comfortable place to pray throughout the day.  Abbassi is petitioning with flyers, promoting the cause.

Previously, complaints had arisen about Muslims praying in the corridors of the tech-mall. To be clear, no one, including Abbassi, finds the complaints to be directed towards Muslims for their being Muslims but rather the issue was one of public safety: The area where they currently pray leads to an emergency fire exit, the blocking of which is considered a fire hazard, school officials who received the complaint told Abbassi.

Arabic Instructor Dr. Sonia Ghattas-Soliman suggested that Muslims consider finding many separate areas as options for their daily prayer.  Agustin Albarran, associate dean of Student Affairs, suggested that Muslims perhaps hold a fundraiser to build a (non-denominational, religiously open) peace garden for the Muslims to pray in.

Muslims pray five times a day; typically each prayer lasts from five to ten minutes.  Dyari Qadir said she feels it is unfair for Muslims to be prohibited from praying in that hallway.

Qadir,  a member of the Muslim Student Association at Grossmont, stated that if an emergency were to arise that she would stop praying and vacate the building.

In response to suggestions that Muslims simply pray outside, Abbassi stated that some Muslims report having been harassed when they prayed outdoors.  Specifically, Abbassi told of a time when a Muslim woman was praying and approached by a woman who presumably was not Muslim, and the non-Muslim woman reportedly insisted, “You cannot pray here.”

When told of this incident, Dean Albarran assured: “Students–Muslim and otherwise–can pray anywhere on the campus that they want,” as long as it does not directly and adversely affect the learning of other students.  Students who feel they are being treated unfairly–in religious matters or otherwise–may call Dean Albarran at Grossmont’s Office of Student Affairs at 619-644-7600, or email the Dean at agustin.albarran@gcccd.edu.

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Arce is a student in MediaComm 132; contact her at brendaA@gcsummit.com

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Islam Awareness Day explains the faith

Story and photos by Russell Lindquist

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–The Muslim Students Association (MSA) hosted Islam Awareness Day (IAD) on campus, Wednesday, April 12. Attendance was sparse yet spirits were high, which accords with the principle of Margaret Mead’s maxim to “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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