America now has its first all-Muslim frat house. Alif Laam Meem (also goes by Alpha Lambda Mu), which was founded in February, is located at the University of Texas in Dallas. Before you start getting images of wild parties such as those seen in “Animal House,” getting drunk isn’t a pastime at this Muslim fraternity.
According to Alif Laam Meem’s mission statement, the purpose of the Muslim fraternity is to “empower and unite men towards success in this life and the next in accordance to God and his final Messenger, Prophet Muhammed, Peace Be Upon Him.”
Instead of hosting parties where students see how many beers they can funnel at once, founder Ali Mahmoud says “the primary purpose of a fraternity is to unite these men as brothers under a specific cause.” This means Saturday nights are spent in prayer and discussing ways the young men can help their communities. “Muslims are supposed to bring benefit and prevent harm to everyone and anything, not just Muslims,” Mahmoud said.
Alif Laam Meem is trying to grow awareness of the new Muslim fraternity with social media websites Twitter and Facebook. The fraternity is accepting applications for membership, and non-Muslims can also apply. The membership fee is $100, which is donated to charity.
— ΑΛΜ – Alif Laam Meem (@almfrat) September 14, 2013
Mahmoud, a 19-year-old junior, hopes that the fraternity will help educate people about the Muslim religion. “Muslims in America are in a similar position, and our fraternity is fulfilling those needs as well as many more,” he said. “We’re paving a new path for Muslims on campus to have an organic, wholesome college experience without having to compromise the values of their religion.”
The Muslim fraternity has received a lot of supportive comments on Twitter. Even though Muslim-Americans are often the target of stereotypes, many people seem happy to hear about a fraternity whose existence doesn’t revolve around excessive alcohol consumption.
— Mohamed Elibiary (@MohamedElibiary) September 13, 2013
It is good to see something very positive of this nature. More can certainly be accomplished through positive… http://t.co/z9SwOxkMlu
— Blondell Lehocki (@Lehockib) September 11, 2013