Misconceptions Frustrate UW Campus Muslims [Isthmus]

It’s a hard enough path to follow without being linked to terrorism

It’s 12:30 p.m. on a Friday in December. Dalia Saleh and her friends are kneeling on the floor, bowing their heads in reverence to Allah.

These are the weekly services at the Islamic Center, 21 N. Orchard St. Everyone has removed his or her shoes, out of respect for Allah. About 30 men are at the front of the hexagonal building, women at the back of the room.

Saleh and her friends — eight other college-age women — sit on a balcony overlooking the service below. A brief sermon, usually a lesson on how to be a good Muslim, is followed by one of the five daily prayers.

Saleh, 20, is one of about 300 to 400 Muslim students on the UW–Madison campus. She does not date, wear makeup, or drink alcohol. Her faith is visible in the dark silk sheath wrapped tightly around her head.

“Islam is the type of religion that touches every aspect of my life,” Saleh says. “I try to always be conscious of my religion.”

Read the full January 21, 2010 Isthmus article.