Drake University’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) was founded in the early 2000s. Two goals guided its establishment: creating a gathering place for Drake Muslim students to celebrate Islamic holidays and culture, and helping break negative stereotypes of Muslims. Since then, MSA Drake has also begun engaging in charity work for the Drake campus and Des Moines community.
Although MSA Drake is composed mostly of Malaysian students, it also includes, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Somalian, Bosnian, Palestinian, and Saudi Arabian students. Current members are Sunni Muslim, but MSA doesn’t discriminate!
MSA Drake’s programming includes Eid potlucks, lectures, petitions, fast-a-thons, movie screenings, lunch outings, and local charity work. It recently hosted a Drake University tour for high school students at a local mosque where MSA Drake students volunteer for Sunday school.
Of course, MSA Drake isn’t a religion of Des Moines per se; it is not a mosque. Nevertheless, MSA Drake does function much like a religious community for many of Drake’s Muslim students.