We’re not in Kansas any more takes on a whole new meaning in the other Manhattan. via Muslim community experiences growth in Manhattan, K-State – News – Kansas State Collegian – Kansas State University. h/t @CausingFitna
Seen from afar, Manhattan may be looked at as a small, predominantly white, Christian community. But with K-State and the ever-growing international student programs, Manhattan has become an extremely diverse Kansas town throughout the years. One ethnic group that has grown in particular is the Muslim community in Manhattan.
“Most of our community members are students. They are attracted here to K-State,” said Abdulrahman Kamal, graduate student in curriculum and instruction. Kamal is the president of the Islamic Center’s executive committee and the Muslim Student Association at K-State.
The Muslim Brotherhood founded Muslim Student Association. Read more about them below.
Through International Student Services, students come to K-State to study from many countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia and Libya. According to statistics from ISS, students from Saudi Arabia are now the biggest foreign population studying at K-State.
Saudi’s also made up most of the 9/11 hijackers and fund most of the mosques in the U.S.
“In 2006, the government in Saudi Arabia had a new program that was sending more students outside of the country,” Kamal said. “I heard from friends who were here, before that program started, the Saudi students were about 10 or 12; they were mostly graduate students. But now we have 120 plus and most of them are undergrad students.”
With such a surge in numbers, the one thing missing in Manhattan was a place for these Muslims to pray and gather together in their Islamic faith. This was first apparent in the 1980s.
According to the Islamic Center of Manhattan’s official website, the Muslim Community realized that a place of worship was necessary and they worked to obtain a two-story house that was officially the first masjid, or mosque, in Manhattan.
After outgrowing this house, the community was able to build the mosque that is standing today through the help of donations from across the U.S. and overseas. The Islamic Center of Manhattan is located at 1224 Hylton Heights Rd. and includes separate prayer halls for men and women, a library, classes for the Children’s Islamic school and an area for social gatherings.
As students studying in a culture that is not predominately Islamic, prayer times often come into conflict with class schedules. For Kamal, he has found that professors will work with his schedule to make sure he is accommodated for his religion.
“I go off for four minutes, five minutes, and I come back,” he said. “Especially in education, our lectures are usually two and a half hours. So we need to get out otherwise I will miss the prayer time. All of my instructors, they understand this. They allow me just for five minutes, I go and that’s it.”
Kamal said there is a meditation room on the fourth floor of the library that he can go to and pray. He said this is where many Muslims go while they are studying in the library.
The Islamic faith is a monotheistic religion, worshiping Allah. The religion follows the five pillars of Islam, which are general practices of the religion. These pillars include a declaration of faith, five daily prayers, almsgivings — an obligatory act of giving — fasting and a pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.
Hajj is often difficult for Muslims to make, due to the financial obligation of traveling to the holy site, but if the journey is possible to make at a point in one’s life, then it is required of them. Al-Alili is one Muslim who was able to make the trip to Mecca.
“One thing about Hajj I like is that everyone is equal,” he said. “Rich, poor, male, female; especially the males, they wear simple clothes. You cannot distinguish between ruler or the king or the poor people. It is very great.”
Everyone, that is, except non-Muslims. Who are not even permitted to set foot in Mecca.
Living in the United States today can be seen as an obstacle for many Muslims. With events like 9/11, the Islamic faith is often grouped in with radical terrorist groups. With such a small community of Muslims in Manhattan, some may think that this discrimination would be much more prevalent, but for some that is not the case.
“I like it much. I like the people. The people are very kind with us,” said Atia Ataie, Manhattan resident from Afghanistan. “When I go shopping, anywhere, parks, I don’t have any problem.”
Terror-linked CAIR will not be happy to hear their mythological Islamophobia just ain’t so.
Ataie moved to Manhattan three years ago from Afghanistan. She is here with her two children while her husband gets his Ph.D. in civil engineering. Ataie said she finds Kansas to be a very calm place to live, not at all what she first expected.
Is that how a student visa works? One person gets the visa and then brings in the family, however big or small? And they never leave?
More on the Muslim Student Association who seems to head Manhattan, Kansas’ Islamic diaspora:
The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, or MSA (also known as MSA National), was established mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston writes that “many of the founding members of this agency [MSA] were members of, or had connections to,” the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-i-Islami. The three most significant founders of MSA were Ahmed Totanji, Jamal Barzinji, and Hisham al Talib, all of whom were MB leaders of Iraqi descent. Other noteworthy individuals who served as early co-founders of MSA were Mahboob Khan and Malika Khan.
The Saudis’ first foray into the United States came in the form of MSA, which, like the aforementioned Saudi-based groups, received its major funding and direction from Riyadh. According to a February 2008 New York Times report, MSA, from its earliest days, “pushed the [Saudi] kingdom’s puritan, Wahhabi strain of Islam.” In the 1960s and 70s, adds the Times piece, MSA chapters “advocated theological and political positions derived from radical Islamist organizations and would brook no criticism of Saudi Arabia.”
Read the profile at the link above.
Kansas is quietly becoming quite the hotspot for Islam. More posts here.
- Garden City, Kansas: Where women in burqas stroll down Normal Rockwell Main Street
- Pastor arrested for sharing gospel with Muslims…in Kansas
- Muslim Brotherhood creeps into Ft. Leavenworth
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