Day 20




by Bassam Tariq

ISNA HQ - Plainfield, IN

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  • Ian Rogers

    Great post Bassam! On a side note, Pokemon battling world religions is a horrifying thought.

  • Flower

    I am glad you found out who you are and I am soooo happy that you guys are doing this.  I’ve been in sort of a  bubble also.  I never knew there were so many diverse Islamic communities in America.  I love this blogg!  May Allah (swt) give you the resources and energy to keep it going.  Maybe you guys can go to Hajj and blog about your experiences–after you take care of your obligatory acts of worship of course.

  • A fan

    I am really enjoying these very personal thoughts. It’s like you’re letting us read your mind. It’s amazing. And it’s nice to know other people went through similar experiences!! Keep up the amazing work!

  • a.m.

    this was so hilarious!!! thanks for sharing :-) definitely something a lot of us can relate to…other than the pretending to be jewish part :)

  • Admin’s orders

    Bassam, you were a fantastic MSA president. (I can testify as one of the few MSA ladies remaining during your administration :-) . Fun times :) – but you’re right, we were in a bubble.

  • Rashid

    Whats up the “hairy men” in all your posts ? Its alright like a few times but its becoming a habit in all your posts … disappointed…. mocking a sunnah is shirk.

    Not insulting just advising :)

    • Hola

      shirk? seriously? please, give me a break! It’s comic relief, ever heard of it?

    • Sam

      I think hairy men refers to the fact that many south Asian men are hairy in general (hands, ears, backs) rather than having a beard which, like you say, is sunnah.

  • Naima

     I was just laughing out loud so hard while reading this that my mom had to ask me what was so funny.! I kept sending her the links of your articles every day (since I liked them so much) that she know reads them even before I send them to her!

  • Haleema Shah

    Did you go to Krazy Kaplan’s fireworks?

  • Ayda

    lol… this is too funny bro! thanks for sharing… reminiscing back those days, yeah msa did make me feel like im in a bubble… blob blob blob… like ur posts so far… my kind of thing… last few blessed nights to the 30. Be blessed =)

  • Ayda

    lol… this is too funny bro! thanks for sharing… reminiscing back those days, yeah msa did make me feel like im in a bubble… blob blob blob… like ur posts so far… my kind of thing… last few blessed nights to the 30. Be blessed =)

  • Anonymous

    Bassam, you might have heard about a movie called “David” which came out this year; it’s about a Muslim boy who pretends for a while to be Jewish. I watched it a couple of days ago; it’s really good. You can see its IMDb entry here: 

    Thanks for sharing your MSA experience, too. The college where I did my BA had a tiny number of Muslims, so we didn’t have an MSA; instead we had what was called a Muslim Prayer Group (people getting together for Friday prayer with the local imam, who was also the owner of a downtown business in our small town in Iowa). When I came to Montreal for graduate school, there was suddenly an MSA, and hundreds of Muslims… but also gender segregation at social events (“Brother, the brothers’ seats are over here”) and other such things. Overall, I preferred the simpler ways of our MSA-less small-town community — the brotherhood there felt much more real.

  • Anonymouse

    Can’t agree more about the Bubble part.

    Also, there is always a group of men of in the MSA crowd which is just so enamored with working with Hijabis (hot or not) – also because no other women would really talk to them – that ‘doing the MSA thing’ becomes their thing.


  • Sara Al-Dahir

    Jazak Allahu khairan for the post. My MSA experience was in the ’90′s … and my parents’ experience was in the 60′s!  I definitely see the similarities and agree with the “wasted time” argument.  As a second generation MSA-er, I definitely hope that I’ll be the mom of a third generation of MSA with my boys.

  • Heather Irwin

    I know many university MSAs exist in a bubble.  We don’t, and haven’t for at least a decade.  We do interfaith work with other on and off campus organizations, we speak to classes and groups, we host an always-popular open house at the mosque twice yearly, we work with local media, we host speakers and events on campus… Just to balance the score a bit on the value of the MSA; your experience with social awkwardness in the MSA is certainly not alone or unjustified, but it’s not the only way.  Hint to any MSA-ers reading: Involve some grad students, too, if you want to move out of MSA bubble-land : )

  • seef

    Ha ha, when i was in high school my older brother and sister were in the university MSA. They both got married to spouses they met there. I used to go to their meetings/boring study circles sometimes. When I got to that university, they had split into 2 groups – one traditional/foreign/scared-of-whitey, the other progressive/modern/comfortable-around-whitey and then both groups dissipated into nothing. So I basically had no MSA university experience, remain unencumbered by that type of awkward socialization, and only met white chicks. Fast forward 20 years, I am happily married, totally comfortable around chicks (work is 75% female), and the only awkwardness I experience is with my wife’s weirdo hijabi friends that forget how to act human around a dude like me.

  • wildbilli ali

    salaam.  love the post and love the work you guys do.  coming from a muslim but relatively “liberal”, non-strict family, i had no intention in participating or having any contact with the MSA when I got to college.  now, 11 yrs later, most of my best friends are brothers and sisters i met through the MSA in college.  don’t even remember how i got sucked in, but i am glad i did.  it was one of the most educating, eye-opening and uplifting times of my life.   

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