Muslim Student Association Provides Support, Inclusion


Sabrina Shama

The Muslim Student Association meets after school on Nov. 29. The goal of the club is to provide fun and inclusive experiences for Muslim students at Creek.

Meron Banjaw, Staff Writer

The Muslim Student Association is a club new to Creek which seeks to form a community of Muslim students and friends while also having fun and creating experiences.

Club Vice President Selma Essamet strives to unite and lead what she believes is a very much-needed club within the school.

“[Creek] didn’t have a Muslim Student Association [unlike] other high schools in the district, like Smokey Hill and Grandview,” Essmat said. “We really wanted  to start one here in order to form and unite a community and gather the Muslims so that they don’t feel left out.”

Essmat wishes that people could see that Muslim students like her are just normal people and that they go through the same things as most other teenagers, whether it is AP classes, learning to drive, friend drama, or college applications.

“I feel like people think that we are very closed off and very different, but it isn’t really true. While we do follow a different religion, and our customs are different from others, at the end of the day we are still kids and teenagers, and we all still go through the same things,” Essmat said.

Many students within the club express that they find it a bit hard to fit in with the community because they immediately stand out. Many agree that people always focus on their differences instead of their similarities.

“In a society as diverse as ours, everybody is different. And you can’t get rid of differences, it’s what makes us human… especially related to religion, we will always have differences in terms of beliefs and practices,” sophomore Lena Munir, a member of MSA, said. “You are never going to avoid those differences, you can’t run from them. We all just have to learn to accept and move on.”

This is very personal for Essmat, who says that something people tend to focus on her is her hijab.

“I immediately stand out because of [my hijab], or during Ramadan for example… and I have to fast and pray during certain times of the day [and find] that time within my busy school life and find places to pray too,” Essmat said. “Fasting is also a subject that most people don’t understand if they don’t fast.”

Essmat, along with MSA, believes that one of the biggest ways to fight Islamophobia is to teach about Islam, so that people know the truth, allowing them to be more accepting. “Sometimes it gets a bit hard because people drop like bombs or terrorist jokes that are a bit disrespectful,” she said. “Honestly, most of the time the people who make jokes know that it isn’t funny.”

Through MSA, students have created fundraising opportunities, movie nights, and game days while honoring their culture and community. Essmat envisions the club as both educational and “an enjoyable way to spend your afternoon.”

“I want kids of all religions to exchange ideas and…to continue breaking down barriers [and] building bridges between different groups,” MSA club sponsor Russell Magerfleisch said.