Summer Camp Teaches Young Muslims How To Cope With Rising …

August 18, 2017 - summer camp

Ronald Chavez Hassan leads kids in a trust travel during a Muslim Youth Camp of California. He has been a clergyman during a stay for 25 years.

Maggie Starbard for NPR


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Ronald Chavez Hassan leads kids in a trust travel during a Muslim Youth Camp of California. He has been a clergyman during a stay for 25 years.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

The object has set, a hiking, swimming and prayers are over and a organisation of kids are goofing off, holding turns revelation trite jokes in a woods.

“Why did a cow cranky a road?” a kindergartner yells into a megaphone in front of his associate campers. “Because a duck was on vacation!”

It’s a standard summer stay in Northern California, solely during this stay all a kids are Muslim.

Every summer for 55 years, Muslim kids, teens, immature adults and relatives accumulate in these woods to learn about faith and have fun. It is a oldest stay of a kind for immature Muslims in America. But currently a stay has a opposite definition for this new generation. It’s a duration remit for a campers in a nation where anti-Muslim view is rising sharply.

The late Marghoob Quraishi and his wife, Renae “Iffat” Quraishi, founded it, to assistance new American Muslims find a clarity of community.

Marghoob Quraishi and Renae “Iffat” Quraishi founded a stay in 1961 as a place for kids to accumulate and learn about their faith. Renae, a modify to Islam who grew adult American Methodist, went to a Methodist camp, and a Quraishis modeled theirs on her experience. Marghoob died in 2005; a subsequent generation, including their daughters, runs a camp.

Courtesy of a Quraishi Family


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Courtesy of a Quraishi Family

Originally Indo-Pakistani, Marghoob finished adult during Stanford University in California. His daughters contend he looked around and satisfied that new American Muslims, like himself, indispensable a place to learn their kids about being American Muslims. His mom is an American Caucasian lady who converted to Islam from Methodism and grew adult going to Methodist summer camp. So a integrate modeled it on that.

The stay is steeped in American stay tradition — hiking, swimming, s’mores — churned in with request and classes.

Marghoob Quraishi died in 2005, and now a couple’s daughters and their peers run a camp.

“My father, he saw Islam as a force for good, equality, amicable probity and posterior knowledge,” pronounced daughter Amira Quraishi, who is a Muslim clergyman during Wellesley College.

Top: Counselors Manar Soliman (left) and Jasmine Wadalawala welcome while watchful for their campers to gather. Left: Girls rest in a shade of a cedar tree after Dhuhr prayer. Right: Shoes are piled outward a tent.

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In 1960, there weren’t many mosques or Muslim clubs in North America. So her father founded Islamic groups during a university campuses he went to. And, of course, he and his mom started Muslim Youth Camp.

“He saw that these were new Muslims in a new nation and they indispensable to try to figure out how they were going to be Muslim in America,” Amira recently pronounced during a camp. “The approach my father described it is that he usually started walking and afterwards after 20 years looked behind and beheld people were entrance with him.”

“He usually suspicion it was good for people to be together, and be means to urge together and have fun together,” she says.

The stay has been home to many Muslim American leaders, like Jihad Turk, who founded and heads Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School, a country’s initial Islamic connoisseur seminary. Turk is during stay this year with his kids. Or Shahed Amanullah, who was a senior confidant for record during a U.S. State Department and has been named one of a 500 many successful Muslims in a universe several times by a Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.

Not a orator

“I don’t have any shortcoming here; I’m not a usually Muslim; I’m not a orator for all of Islam here,” pronounced Manar Soliman.

She doesn’t have to be a envoy of her faith.

Campers play a pickup diversion of basketball during downtime before dusk prayer.

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Campers play a pickup diversion of basketball during downtime before dusk prayer.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

For 20-year-old Soliman, stay is a family tradition. Her grandfather brought her mom and uncle and aunts here as kids. She says she has 6 cousins during stay this year.

Back home in Texas, Soliman doesn’t have that many Muslim friends. And mostly her college friends have met usually one Muslim — her.

“It’s a lot of explaining. You know, because people wear hijab. Why we don’t wear hijab; because we don’t splash alcohol,” she rattles off a list of stereotypes.

With blue hair and goals to be a veteran wrestler, she says she doesn’t demeanour like what people consider Muslims demeanour like.

This year, she is a proffer advisor with Jasmine Wadalawala, a Mexican-Pakistani-American Muslim, who also went to a stay as a kid. It gave her a certainty to tell people during propagandize she was Muslim. Before stay she hid it, fearful of questions and hostility.

The dual women are college students now. They’re sourroundings adult tents before a campers arrive. And they acknowledge they’re a small worried. Days before a weeklong stay began, someone threw a explosve into a Minnesota mosque.

“I was indeed meditative in my berth final night, what if someone comes and busts by a door,” Wadalawala said.

Following a predawn Fajr request campers go on a travel to see a sunrise.

Maggie Starbard for NPR


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Following a predawn Fajr request campers go on a travel to see a sunrise.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

It’s something other American summer campers substantially don’t consider about. But during this camp, a residence is given to people usually once they register, to keep it safe. After a Sept. 11 attacks, a stay was threatened.

And there are sessions with campers on how to understanding with anti-Islamic rhetoric, that is on a rise.

After a day of swimming and a night of revelation jokes, a pre-dawn request followed. Campers used a strain while sitting on mats, surrounded by hunger trees as a object rose above them.

“Oh God, assistance me to do good things and reject awful things and assistance me to adore those in need, greatfully pardon me and have forgiveness on me.”

Asifa Quraishi-Landes, a eldest daughter of a founders of this camp, gives a convention on how to answer antagonistic and misinformed questions about being Muslim, like, “Why do Muslims distortion and wish to change American law?”

Amira Quraishi (left) and Asifa Quraishi-Landes are among a subsequent era that now runs a stay founded by their parents.

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“Here’s a thing that’s unequivocally critical for us to know and to say,” she tells a organisation of teenagers and adults. “That Islam itself says that we have to follow a laws of a land that we live in, that is indeed partial of Sharia.”

Quraishi-Landes is a academician of both inherent law and Islamic jurisprudence, or Sharia, during a University of Wisconsin Law School. Sharia has many forms of interpretation that beam a approach Muslims live, like how they get or what they can or can't eat. It’s a lot like Catholic criterion law or halacha, Jewish law. But anti-Muslim hatred groups tell people it’s a hazard to a American approach of life.

It’s a flattering complicated subject for summer camp. But that’s what being Muslim in America is today, Quraishi-Landes says.

“Being yourself as a Muslim”

She and her sisters grew adult in a camp, and now their children learn about Islam here too. Sometimes she has to force her teenage son to come.

Sofia Majed (from left), Samah Safiullah and Noa Turk support Fatima Diallo as she navigates a ropes course.

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Sofia Majed (from left), Samah Safiullah and Noa Turk support Fatima Diallo as she navigates a ropes course.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

“The sourroundings here creates a offset Islamic preparation and [an preparation on] being yourself as a Muslim that we can't emanate anywhere else for him,” she said. “This is my shortcut. … It’s a kind of Muslim preparation we can give my kids but sitting down with a workbook. It’s fun. It’s fun to be a kid; it’s fun to be a Muslim child too.”

Another stay organizer, 37-year-old amicable workman Sakeena Mirza, who is Quraishi-Landes’ cousin, says this stay is some-more critical than ever for her children.

“There’s so most antipathy for being Muslim in a universe and a nation so there’s a pull divided from a faith,” she says.

At school, Mirza’s kids watch other children fake to be terrorists and shout Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) a tenure that is holy to her and her family.

“These are a forms of a environments where being Muslim feels sinister and it’s hated and we feel like we didn’t have to understanding with that when we was younger,” she said. “I felt different. we didn’t feel hated.”

Left: Leya Khan (from left), Sarah Khaled and Asifa Quraishi-Landes during Jumu’ah prayer. Right: Keeno Ghadbian,14, listens to a sermon. Jumu’ah is hold any Friday and is some-more grave than a other prayers.

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This year a kids, teenagers and immature adults have classes that try a Islamic observant “Love for your brother, what we adore for yourself.”

Over a years a themes have changed. Back in a ’60s, the themes were elementary and focused on birthright — like in 1963 when it was literally “Our Islamic Heritage.”

Today, a themes understanding with a stream moment, when hatred crimes opposite Muslims have spiked.

Last year it was “Indeed, with hardship there is ease.”

This year, in roughly all a classes, bullying comes up. A poll by a Institute for Social Policy and Understanding suggests Muslim children are bullied some-more mostly than their Jewish or Christian peers during school.

Zareena Grewal, a primogenitor and chronological anthropologist during Yale, leads a category of middle-schoolers during camp. She asks a organisation if people consider Muslims are weird.

“No, they usually call me a terrorist,” one tyro says.

At a finish of a week campers accept banners for several accomplishments such as reciting a Kalimah Shahadah in Arabic and English or reading a whole Quran.

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“They call we a terrorist?” Grewal asks.

“They’ll be like, ‘Guys he has a explosve on his watch, run. He’s going to explosve a school,’ ” he says. The stay teachers asked that NPR not use a kids’ names while deliberating supportive topics for fear they would be serve bullied.

The child shrugs. Says he doesn’t care. Other kids nod.

At a finish of Grewal’s category she asks a question.

“If we can suppose those people during your propagandize were means to see us here during stay personification basketball, or revelation jokes during campfire or usually being typical campers, do we consider that would change their views?”

“No, they wouldn’t care,” a campers respond. “They’d substantially consider it’s a militant training camp.”

But one child disagrees.

“If they saw us in a classes and training about all this things they would know that we’re humans, not usually animals.”

As a category ends, a boys and girls start teasing any other and run outward for giveaway time.

Campers fry halal marshmallows to make s’mores.

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Campers fry halal marshmallows to make s’mores.

Maggie Starbard for NPR

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