Social Action Project Brings Awareness to Interfaith Dialogue


Dr. Sabeel Ahmed speaks to Glenbard West students about the common beliefs and stereotypes associated with Islam.

On Thursday April 13th, freshmen Yousef Khan and Chris English partnered with the Muslim Students Association and the Meet Muslim Initiative to hold a non-school sponsored question and answer session regarding Islam as a part of their social action project for English class.

This social action project, as assigned recently by many English teachers, focuses on not only invoking a positive change in the community, but also teaches kids how to take the steps to become a leader.

The event, which took place after school, invited Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, a well-known speaker and the Executive Director of GainPeace, to come speak. His organization is a non-profit aimed at educating the public on what the religion of Islam stands for and tries to clear up some common misconceptions that many may have about it.

Yousef explains that “a large percentage of people in the U.S. don’t personally know a Muslim, and there is another large percentage who have these negative connotations about Muslims.” In this way, both he and his project partner Chris hope to bring to light the positive aspects of the religion.

“I really liked his idea for the project,” says Chris. “I’ve felt this from the news as well as other people, the discrimination against Muslims.”

When attempting to cohesively plan and coordinate the event, both Chris and Yousef felt that what made it really successful was that Dr. Ahmed “stated the facts and he explained what was going on and then he let other people make their own opinions.”

Through the local masjid, Muslim Society Incorporation, in Glendale Heights, the two were able to contact Dr. Ahmed. Yousef described it as “exciting to know [Dr. Ahmed] was coming” after approaching many people.

The school organization with which Yousef and Chris partnered with–Muslim Students Association–is a club at school that aims to bring people together to educate people about Islam, as well as hold discussions, activities, and to promote an overall more favorable view of Islam.

“We bring students together in a relaxed environment where everyone can feel comfortable and amiable with one another,” says Umar Azfar, a senior at Glenbard West and a member of the MSA board.

Samra Haseeb, a sophomore and fellow board member, approvingly reflects on the session stating, “there was a lot of positive feedback from it and I think it shows the impact of coming together as a community of people.”

MSA meets every Thursday after school. Contact Mrs. Cann for questions.


Dr. Sabeel Ahmed speaks to Glenbard West students about the common beliefs and stereotypes associated with Islam.