“As a Muslim student, ICA has been a welcoming and blooming club on campus. ICA is not only for Muslims, but also welcomes non-Muslims. Seeing people come together to learn about the religion and culture has been a fabulous sight! With the activities and events that have been held in the past we have gained a lot of positive feedback from the campus and hopefully will continue to bring even more exciting things to the table.”
—Baneen Al-Akashi ’19
Islamic Cultural Association (ICA) is a student-led organization that supports Muslim students and cultivates mutual respect between Muslims and other communities by creating a space for students of different cultural backgrounds and experiences to celebrate diversity and challenge stereotypes.
Among ICA’s goals are to:
- Encourage religious respect on campus and confront stereotypes and Islamophobia.
- Support community members in practicing their religion.
- Promote a hospitable relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in the Allegheny community.
- Strengthen the unity of Muslim and non-Muslim students.
To achieve these goals, ICA hosts movie nights, discussions about Muslim life, and campus-wide celebrations of Islamic holy days. The group also makes an annual trip to Islamic centers in other cities, such as Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.
ICA has been awarded funds from Allegheny’s Diversity Innovation Fund to bring speakers to campus who confront Islamophobia through their work. In March 2017, they hosted Hind Makki, who delivered a public talk on “Life at the Intersection of Gender, Race, and Religion,” visited with classes and other groups, and led a lunchtime discussion on religious pluralism. In October 2017, artist Helen Zughaib visited campus for a talk and the opening of an exhibit of her works in the Art Gallery. Muslim Chaplain and diversity educator Bilal Ansari has made two visits to campus, most recently in November 2018.
Muslim Life on Campus
- Our Prayer and Meditation Retreat includes a Muslim prayer room, and faculty and students meet there for lunch and Jum’ah prayers on Friday, when classes are in session.
- Halal meals can be arranged on an individual basis.
- To make arrangements or for additional information, students should contact Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at SRL@allegheny.edu or 814-332-2800.