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SALAM’s Insightful Presentation on Islam at Cavitt Jr. High School

November 28, 2023

As the Director of Outreach & Learning at SALAM Islamic Center, I am thrilled to share our recent experience at Cavitt Jr. High School, where we presented to all 7th grade students as part of their Religious Studies Class. This event, marking our third consecutive year of participation, was held in the school’s auditorium with an enthusiastic audience of 170 students, along with the school’s principal, assistant principal, and other staff members.

The Heart of Engagement: Young Minds and Big Questions

Our presentation aimed to provide a factual and appropriate portrayal of Islam and Muslims, a mission that feels more crucial than ever in today’s world. The students’ eagerness to learn was palpable. They listened intently, their faces a mix of curiosity and reflection, as we navigated through the core principles of Islam, highlighting its values of peace, community, and compassion.

The Challenge of Time, The Joy of Curiosity

Despite the time constraints, we managed to address around 20 questions from the students. Their hands shot up one after another, a testament to their engagement and the presentation’s impact. While we couldn’t respond to every question in the limited time, the sheer number of inquiries spoke volumes about the students’ interest and the importance of such dialogues.

Shaping Perspectives in Formative Years

Seventh grade is a pivotal time in a student’s life, where they begin to form their own opinions and worldviews. Engaging with them at this stage is not just an opportunity but a responsibility. Our aim was to sow seeds of understanding and respect, which we hope will flourish into a more inclusive and empathetic perspective as they grow.

A Personal Reflection: More Than Just a Presentation

For me, this experience was more than just another presentation. It was a chance to connect, to break down barriers, and to see firsthand the potential for change in these young, inquisitive minds. The satisfaction of facilitating such an important conversation is immeasurable.

Looking Ahead: Expanding Outreach

Our commitment doesn’t end here. SALAM is dedicated to expanding our outreach to more educational institutions and places of worship. We believe in the power of knowledge and dialogue in bridging communities and fostering mutual understanding.

In Gratitude and Hope

I extend my heartfelt thanks to Cavitt Jr. High School, especially to Chris Smith for inviting us, and to the students and staff for their openness and engagement. Each question asked and every attentive eye is a step forward in our journey towards a more inclusive society.

As we continue this important work, I invite you all to join us, support our efforts, or simply spread the word. Together, we can make a difference.

Asif Haq
Director, Outreach & Learning
SALAM Islamic Center