On Thursday, Oregon State University’s Ettihad Cultural Center, Muslim Student Association and African Student Association will host the second annual Malcolm X Solidarity Iftar in the Memorial Union Ballroom to celebrate and recognize the legacy of civil rights leader Malcolm X.
Mohammed Shakibnia, a third-year student studying political science and philosophy, has been involved in the organization of the event as the leadership liaison for the Ettihad Cultural Center. Shakibnia said the purpose of the iftar is to bring the community together to reflect on Malcolm X’s life, particularly relating to racial justice for black communities and international solidarity against forms of oppression.
“Malcolm stood for social justice, solidarity with marginalized groups and continues to have an impactful legacy for human rights around the world,” Shakibnia said via email. “The event is an opportunity to reflect on his messages and life during Ramadan, where Muslims focus on spiritual growth and transformation. Malcolm embodies Ramadan’s spirit of selflessness, self-transformation, love and justice.”
Sadia Hasan, a second-year student serving as the president of the Muslim Student Association, said this iftar provides not only the opportunity for Muslim students to break their fasts during the holy month of Ramadan, but also seeks to provide support and address the discrimination felt by the Muslim community.
“This iftar is integral, specifically for addressing the multifaceted experiences of a Muslim American,” Hasan said via email. “It is a peculiar experience when a part of an individual’s identity is a political debate.”
The event will include a keynote from guest speaker Jamila Osman, a community organizer, educator and writer from Portland. According to Shakibnia, Osman’s work focuses on immigration, racial justice and border justice throughout local communities and across the United States.
Osman’s address, which will discuss Malcolm X’s life and lessons learned from his legacy, will be followed by a prayer for those observing, along with an iftar meal from Tacos El Machin.
“I would really encourage students to attend to learn more about Malcolm X because he’s often very misunderstood and misrepresented,” Shakibnia said in an email. “It would be a good opportunity to engage about an influential figure in our history who remains an icon for social, racial and economic justice.”
Hasan also encourages students to attend, not only to learn more about Malcolm X, but also to learn more about the Muslim community as a whole.
“Students of all backgrounds should come to the event to engage with a variety of narratives that exist in our society and are often silenced,” Hasan said via email. “This is an opportunity to engage with an often misunderstood community as they are, and not how they are frequently mistaken to be.”
The event is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2311327145596743/