“As a non-Muslim student, ICA has allowed me to go beyond my self and develop even more respect for Islam and the individuals that practice it. This organization has proved to act as an inviting space, and also as a family on campus for me. I’ve always been excited to go to our club meetings and events, so I look forward to what we have in store for the future.”
—Sky Clark, ’20
“Being a Muslim is not a race, it’s a lifestyle, from what we do to what we eat.”
—Abdi Lugundi, ’21
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.
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 Chicago, 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-332-2800.