The Muslim Student Association is preparing to compete in the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament of New Jersey during the weekend of April 21 and 22, 2018.
Senior and Club President Aisha Malik says MSA, which usually holds club meetings every other Tuesday, is preparing by “having a good time and working hard together. MIST is a lot of fun and it allows people to work together for a common goal. We want to create chants and get people hyped and ready to participate.”
MIST encourages Muslim and non-Muslim students to develop a sense of creativity and communication with each other to create a healthy community.
Sophomore Ashir Akhtar says, “It is important for groups of students to be exposed to these types of events because they can get a better understanding of the religion and the culture, contrary to what the media says.”
MIST is currently held in 17 different regions across the globe and was originally held in Houston, Texas in 2001 for Muslim youth to create an environment of peace and understanding.
To be a competitor, one must be a high school student of any faith. Students do not need any previous Islamic or cultural knowledge.
Regionals will be held at the Rutgers campus in Newark. Those who place in regionals will go on to nationals in an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to compete against students from the private school Noor-Ul-Iman, South Brunswick, and Piscataway. In 2017, nationals took place in Detroit, Michigan.
The theme for the competition this year is compassion and mercy. Specific competitions will focus heavily on these topics, while others are more general.
The categories this year include the arts, general knowledge, the Quran/holy book, writing and oratory, group projects, and sports. Those wishing to compete in a sports bracket must also compete in another category.
In the past, MTHS students have placed in diverse competitions such as debate, culinary arts, 2D art, original oratory, graphic design, and poetry.
Former MTHS students, such as Rutgers-attendees Ateeb and Sidrah Jamal, are members of the MIST coordination team, and can be contacted with any questions, comments, or concerns.
The coordinators and members of MSA are open to clarifications and questions about Islam or if one just wants a diversified club with many students, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Malik also said, “I wanted to start this club because of the increasing Islamophobia in our school and the world; there is a divide in the unity between Muslim students, and I wanted to get an outlet that brings them together. We like to remind people that it is more of a social club than it is religious, so anyone can join!”
Why might clubs like MSA be important for students in 2018 to be a part of?
Visit the MIST website for more information.