Islam Appreciation Month kicked off this week at the University of Florida, a campaign that runs through October 24 that's sponsored by the student organization, Islam on Campus.
Islam on Campus – UF, according to its Facebook page, "is a student organization at the University of Florida devoted to strengthening and uniting the Muslim community on campus through service, activism, educational and social activities as well as to spreading awareness and educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike about the religion of Islam."
Alligator.org, the online version of The Independent Florida Alligator campus newspaper, reports the event is usually a spring affair, but this year is being held in the fall, as a replacement to the Islam on Campus's annual fundraiser.
The big draw is Islamapalooza – or, as it was formerly called, the Islam Fair.
The Alligator reports:
"UF’s Islam On Campus is hosting Islam Appreciation Month this fall in lieu of its annual fundraiser."The month-long celebration is starting with Islamapalooza, formerly named Islam Fair, on the Plaza of the Americas today from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and it will continue Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The event will feature booths where students can get henna tattoos, play trivia about Islam and eat falafels, pita and samosas. ..."'[Islamapalooza] highlights a lot of the cultural aspects of Islam while getting the community at UF excited with incentives like free henna and food,' the 19-year-old UF psychology sophomore said."Maria Ilyas, 20, president of Islam On Campus, said the purpose of the event is to clear misconceptions about Islam and Muslims."'We’re trying to bring an awareness and appreciation to who Muslims are and what Islam is really about,' the UF microbiology senior said."
The Alligator goes on:
"Daniel Khokar, 18, who identifies as Muslim, said the event means a lot to him because it gives him a sense of belonging."'It makes me grateful that I can be a part of this event and, furthermore, grow from it,' the UF biology freshman said."
Shouldn't all religions then be given the same opportunity? Shouldn't Jews be given a month to spread the word about Jewish teachings, Christians a month to teach – Buddhists, Sikhs and so forth and so on?
Christine Williams, writing for Jihad Watch, makes some good points about the appreciation month:
"It is right that every innocent Muslim, as well as any member of any group, should feel a sense of belonging, but a sense of entitlement is not the equivalent of a sense of belonging. There are Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Bahai students too; and there are also Jews on campuses who are treated with contempt and intimidation by jihadist Muslim groups operating right under the noses of university administrators. Shame on the University of Florida for this outright preferential treatment for Muslims over any other group."Islamic Heritage Month was recently declared in Ontario, also to make Muslims feel better, with the objective of combating “Islamophobia,” despite the fact that no stats bear out that “Islamophobia” is a significant problem. Muslims are the ones attacking Westerners, and despite this fact, the targeting of Muslims remains minimal, which demonstrates the exceptional evolution of the West in terms of tolerance. Sadly, however, blacks and Jews remain by far the greatest groups targeted by hate crimes."If Muslims collectively want to feel more included, then they would also collectively (and openly) condemn all forms of jihad (stealth and violent), as well as anti-West and anti-Israel hate messages globally, and the hate that is routinely being preached in mosques, Islamic centers and madrassas right on Western soil."