Staff editorial: Muslim sorority blends cultures, lacks members

ÿ Although the first chapter has yet to be chartered on a college campus, a newly conceived sorority is helping make an unlikely connection between Muslim and Western cultures.

Two women, a mother and daughter who both have converted to Islam, started the sorority Gamma Gamma Chi last year. Despite the connotations to the Greek system of social organizations, the group adheres to tenets of Islam; the women do not drink or fraternize with men, among other rules. Those wishing to join the sorority need not be Muslim, but must adhere to the group's principles.

The blending of the two cultures is somewhat refreshing, and allows Muslims to maintain their own system of beliefs within a fairly typical American tradition.

There are other upsides as well. For one, it allows for a glimpse of Muslim culture for women who might not otherwise experience it.With this of course comes a better understanding of the culture, a much needed lesson for our society. It also brings a sense of diversity into the Greek system, which is generally composed of a largely homogenous population, with a few exceptions.

A common criticism of Islamic practice is the religion's treatment and marginalization of women. While respecting tradition is important, there is no room in our culture for a lack of women's rights, and importing this aspect of Muslim culture is not at all welcome.

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