2005-11-28 13:05:08 UTC
11/27/2005 9:51:00 PM GMT
The University of Kentucky is set to become the site of the first
campus chapter of Gamma Gamma Chi -- the only Muslim sorority in
America, which was established last April by Althia Collins and Imani
Abdul-Haqq, a mother-daughter team from Virginia and North Carolina.
Students at the University of Kentucky are planning to start a Muslim
sorority that will stress sisterhood and community service among its
Both Muslim and non-Muslim women can join the sorority. The six pillars
of the group are Islamic awareness and involvement, educational
development, economic development and support of the needy,
environmental awareness and involvement, physical and mental health and
social awareness and involvement.
So far, five people have expressed interest in joining the Gamma Gamma
Chi chapter at UK, according to Boushra Aghil, a junior majoring in
"We were thinking about what we could do for girls because we knew our
parents wouldn't let us join a sorority," said Boushra, adding that the
group will be united by the same goals and principles "We always had an
idea to do something like that but we needed something established
already to get our foot in the door," added Amira Shalash, 18, a
freshman majoring in communications. "I don't think we could do it
Amira Shalash, another student says the sorority will help her
understand her Muslim friends and get closer to them.
"We want them to have a sorority experience because the reality is that
American Muslims are exposed to everything that non-Muslims are exposed
to," said Collins, who converted to Islam six years ago. "And the
sorority life is one of those things ... That's just a way of helping
them have a full experience on campus that doesn't limit them just
because of their faith."
"She was interested in having a sorority experience," Collins said.
"There are no Muslim sororities out there and for the most part the
sororities that are in existence are Christian-based."
"It's very heartening to see the kind of positive response because it's
saying, 'Yes indeed, this is an idea whose time has come,'" Collins
"Our whole purpose is to give a positive face for Muslim women," said
Collins, noting that Non Muslims get only distorted image of Muslim
women as through biased media which always portrays them as oppressed.
"It's important certainly to have fun but we want them to have it in a
structured way ... We are being very mindful of our responsibilities as
Muslims, both privately and publicly."
Aghil said that now being involved in the sorority will be a
"But with that commitment is the ability to actually come together as
Muslim sisters and that's been lacking," she said.
"It's a way to portray women in Islam in a brighter light," she said.