More than 1,200 people attended the Muslim Student Association (MSA) West Annual Conference, hosted at Cal Poly Jan. 15-17.
The conference, described as the annual get-together for all California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) MSA chapters by Cal Poly MSA president Salar Malik, featured a number of speakers on Muslim topics.
MSA West invites many speakers to the conferences every year, according to Malik
“In total, there were about eight main talks and then there were several smaller workshop talks incorporated into the conference,” Malik said.
On Saturday, Jan. 16, local Muslim vendors put up tables in the Julian A. McPhee University Union Plaza to sell their goods, and Malik was impressed with the turnout.
“I saw some of my friends purchasing shirts from local Muslim … business people,” Malik said.
The title for the conference this year was “Back to the Fitra: Revitalizing the Hearts of the Believers.” Malik described the theme behind the title as “purification of the heart.”
“’Purification of the heart’ is something that’s at the crux of Islamic theology,” Malik said, “which is the concept that the greatest struggle and individual Muslim goes through is the struggle within their own heart…to get the unnecessary desires out, what we call diseases of the heart.”
He described some of the diseases of the heart as “anger, slander, backfighting,” or anything that can “get people lost in this world.”
Overall, Malik called the conference a “major success” with “no major hiccups” along the way.
“I thought it went really well in terms of how the attendees engaged with the speakers and the talks, and how Cal Poly’s general campus engaged with the conference,” Malik said.