Shortly before sunrise, a dozen or so students at the University of California, San Diego, stumbled dutifully out of bed. They ironed their shirts, knotted their ties and piled into their cars. Their destination was the Islamic Center of San Diego, where they were to be initiated into the country’s first Muslim fraternity, Alpha Lambda Mu, named for three letters that start several chapters of the Quran: Alif Laam Meem.
After the morning prayer, the 13 pledges recited a passage from the Quran, then listened as their adviser applied the Islamic values of loyalty and sincerity to daily life on campus.
Finally, the young men pronounced their goals for the coming semester: Rumzi Khan, a computer science major who founded the chapter, vowed to pray more. Several science majors promised to double down on their studying. Samer Abusaleh, a junior in economics, pledged to be more consistent with his Quran reading. He also wanted to work on his six-pack.
There was nothing typical about this initiation, which ended over plates of carrot cake pancakes and huevos rancheros. No beer pong. No hazing. None of the raucousness that characterises frat life.
Alpha Lambda Mu was founded a year ago by Ali Mahmoud, a junior biology and sociology major at the University of Texas, Dallas, as a national fraternity for Muslim college students.
Mahmoud, who is seeking university recognition and a house for his chapter, hosted the first formal rush this autumn: 40 students showed up, and half were offered bids. A total of 24 members now make up the Texas chapter.
Mahmoud, whose parents emigrated from Egypt before he was born, says he founded the frat to offer Muslim students the chance to express both sides of their identity, the American and the Muslim, at a time when “more and more of us identify strongly with both”...And, of course, part of that expression is out and out Zionhass:
The chapter at the University of California, Irvine, was suspended for the 2010 autumn semester after members protested a campus speech by the ambassador to Israel...In that respect at least, the Muslim fraternities fit it with the current campus Zeitgeist far better than the pro-Zionists--be they Jewish or Christian--do.