Students and faculty passing by the Pit on Tuesday afternoon were greeted by a colorful presentation of posters and displays explaining some aspects of a religion not too many people on campus know about.
The Muslim Student Association is sponsoring Islamic Awareness Week, which began Tuesday and ends Thursday. The organization is detailing a different aspect of the religion each afternoon in the Pit from noon until 2 p.m.
Tuesday's topic of discussion was the Holy Quran, what Muslims consider to be the revealed word of God. Wednesday's issue is about Islamic Diversity and Brotherhood and Sisterhood, and Thursday will feature a talk on the Prophets of Islam combined with a talk on Jesus in Islam.
MSA members said they wish to spread the word about some practices and items associated with their religion.
"(The Quran) is the last revelation from God," said Katrin Jomaa, a graduate student in engineering. "It was revealed over a period of 23 years. It didn't just come out of the blue."
Jomaa said one fact about the Quran that is not true with any other religion is the text has not changed since it was received by the prophet. "Until today from 1,400 years ago, the Quran has stayed the same, word for word, letter for letter," she said.
The MSA conceived this week in an attempt to inform others who might not know much about this religion.
"Our purpose was to let others know on campus what Islam is," said Salman Yusaf, a sophomore business major. "Not just the fundamental things, but the different aspects of Islam including our science and beliefs. We also wanted to dispel some of the stereotypes that are associated with our religion."
Jomaa said one such stereotype is women are considered inferior to men. She dispelled this notion with a scripture from the Quran that says both man and woman were created from the same soul and are the same in the eyes of God. "There is no difference between a man and a woman except for certain biological aspects," she said.
Another topic of discussion was why women wear veils. "The woman doesn't cover herself for anyone else but herself," said Melina Selimbegovic, a sophomore biology major from Bosnia.
"By covering herself, she can discover more inner personal and spiritual things that she might not have known before."
While not many students took time to look at the display, those who did said they found the information to be both stimulating and enlightening.
"I think it's a good presentation," said Josh Carter, a freshman from Winston Salem. "They are really making a strong point for their belief. Their information is really interesting.
"Although my major is undecided, I'm planning on doing something in the science field. When I saw this poster on Islam and science, I just wanted to take a look."
The University Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.