The Illuminates Of The SPECTRA (ISPEC) celebrates the end of Ramadan together with the Muslim and non-Muslim students of Silliman University (SU) at the American Studies Resource Center (ASRC) at the SU main library last July 4 at 5:30 pm.
ISPEC, the university’s official student LGBTQ+ organization in coordination with the Muslim students of SU celebrated the last day of Iftar, the meal eaten by the Muslims after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan.
The said event was organized by Shahadat Samsurin, 4th year BBA Management student, Shamah Bulangis, 2nd year BS Foreign Affairs and Kristopher Supil, a graduate student taking up Master of Science in Nursing with a Major in Community Health Nursing.
ISPEC members, allies and other non-Muslim students aim to promote unity with the Muslim community despite the difference in beliefs and customs.
“Both the LGBT and the Muslim communities are highly discriminated against worldwide.” Bulangis said.
“The best way to show solidarity is for our sectors to join together and feel each other’s struggles through companionship, in the spirit of solidarity and diversity and interconnectedness of struggles, we come together”.
The program consisted of an introduction by Samsurin and Bulangis and a short orientation by guest speakers, Ahmed Q Abd and Iman Tumog about Ramadan and the
teachings and common misconceptions regarding Islam and the Muslim faith.
According to Samsurin, people perceive Muslims as terrorists. So, his main target is to eradicate that perception.
“The problem right now is people generalize Muslims” he said. “So that’s why I’m here being a role model to the people and as a peace advocate as well that’s why I did this here in a Christian school with LGBT community for them to know that we are one, we are united.”
He plans to establish a student organization specifically for the Muslim constituents of SU “para di sila ma-left out”.
In line with the activities of the event, a Fasting Challenge was held which began at 4:15 am and ended at 6:12 pm. It was where non-Muslim participants got to immerse themselves in the practices of the Islamic religion to relate their testimonies at the program.