New association Salaam forges link between science and Islam

TU/e has gained another association: Salaam. Its founders are keen to set up a faith-based association with a focus on Islam and science. The launch activity, a lecture and welcome speech, will be held on October 5.

Salaam has developed from a work group of four students who are championing the introduction of a good quiet room at TU/e. This is explained by Marwan Mrait, a Management Sciences student, and the person responsible for Salaam's PR. “With the increasing student numbers, the quiet room that used to be in Matrix was getting crowded. The temporary quiet area that is now in Connector 1.13 is not much bigger, but we are in discussions about a room in Atlas. We hope that more space will be available there.”

The faith-based association, which is officially still being set up - its registration with the Chamber of Commerce is not yet complete - will focus mainly on Islam. “But non-Muslims are definitely welcome,” stresses Mrait. “We'd love them to come along. We are open to different opinions.”  The committee members are keen for the TU/e association to be joined not only by Muslims; it is keen to build a bridge with non-Muslims, and to increase familiarity with Islam. While it was reported in the news only last week that Dutch Muslims more often feel discriminated against, this is absolutely not the case at TU/e, says Mrait.

Last summer Salaam, which can be translated as ‘peace’ and is said in greeting, held its first activity: an Iftar, or communal meal during Ramadan. The ‘official’ launch activity is planned for Thursday October 5, when a TU/e alumnus will give a lecture on Islam and science, and a board member will give an introduction.

The four committee members are keen to plan a hall-based activity at least once a quarter and to hold cultural activities such as meals. “We will definitely be looking to cooperate with associations like Tint and Ichthus,” explains Mrait. Salaam falls under the faith-based umbrella organization, which was set up before the summer. Other members include Tint, Ichthus and the Navigators.

It is not yet clear where they will be able to conduct their activities. “Perhaps we can use a room in Luna.” Nor is it yet known whether the committee members are eligible for committee officer grants. That will depend, among other things, on the size of the association and the number of activities.  

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