Despite a vibrant Muslim presence on campus, the Muslim Students of Algonquin club has not been visibly active since the beginning of 2015’s fall term.
When reached for comment, an MSA representative who requested anonymity after his name was published in the Times, stated the club didn’t have any activities planned for this semester. He did not elaborate on the reasons why the MSA has shied away from campus life or confirm that the club is still active.
The SA’s Clubs and Communities coordinator, Patrick Newell, confirmed that the MSA is still active and funded by the SA but have not organized or participated in any activities during the fall semester except for Friday prayer.
“It’s up to clubs to organize activities,” said Newell.
“We can’t make them do it.”
The MSA’s Facebook page – still labelled Algonquin College Muslim Students’ Association – had been inactive since May 2014 until a final message was posted on Feb. 4, 2015 in response to the arrests of two previous MSA volunteers charged with terrorism-related offences.
Nothing has been posted ever since.
Questions on the MSA’s status have popped up on the University of Ottawa Muslim Students’ Association’s Facebook page. An individual identifying himself as Sam Nafiz asked, “Does the Algonquin College MSA not exist anymore?” on Jan. 12 in response to a joint ski trip organized by the Muslim students’ associations of the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the Muslim Youth Leaders of Tomorrow.
Second-year office administration student and Revolutionary Student Movement member Dimitri Melnik, 25, participated in a march against Islamophobia last December in response to both domestic and international attacks on Muslims.Melnik stated the RSM had attempted to contact the MSA last September to bridge communication and encourage solidarity between both clubs.
“They never replied,” said Melnik.
Muslim students Masoudeh Bakhshzad, 19, and Mo Si, 19, expressed what they’d like to see this semester. Bakhshzad, a first-year law clerk student, said she learned about the MSA’s existence by word of mouth. “They should have a webpage,” she said.
Si, a first-year management and entrepreneurship student, wasn’t aware of the MSA’s existence. He’d like the MSA to be more involved in student life.“To teach me more about my faith,” Si said.