Muslim Sorority Opens Doors for American Muslim Women

June 20, 2006


On June 20, 2006 USINFO.STATE.GOV reported, "Fraternities and sororities are an important part of student life on most American university campuses. These privately run clubs organized around common interests and activities provide students with leadership experience, social outlets, support groups, community service opportunities and housing options.

They offer a home-away-from-home for the roughly half million students who seek admittance and are selected by current members. Fraternity and sorority members are often active in campus affairs and maintain a lifelong social and professional network with other former members after graduation.

In some people’s minds, the 'Greek system' – so called because the houses are typically named with some combination of Greek letters – is synonymous with partying, but the system includes a huge variety of organizations, many of which encourage academic excellence and promote community service. A new national sorority founded on the principles of Islam seeks to build itself on that model.

Founded little more than a year ago, the Gamma Gamma Chi sorority has dedicated itself to giving young women the positive aspects of a sorority experience while maintaining Islamic traditions. While the group’s core principles are Islamic, it opens its membership to all women, Muslim and non-Muslim, who support its mission.

Gamma Gamma Chi is the inspiration of Imani Abdul-Haqq, a young Muslim woman who was dissatisfied with the sorority scene at her university in North Carolina. Instead of dismissing the entire system, though, Abdul-Haqq decided to form her own sorority based on Islamic values. Abdul-Haqq’s mother, Althia Collins, a former college president and sorority member, threw herself into the dual role of president and executive director. Since then she has spent more than $50,000 of her own money and in-kind assistance to launch the sorority.

One of the most challenging tasks for Gamma Gamma Chi has been raising awareness of its mission on American campuses. Collins and other supporters have visited many universities, hosting informal information sessions. Students dressed in everything from chadors to blue jeans and t-shirts have attended and taken an interest."

See also: Islam, Women, Campus