On Saturday, Feb. 22, Penn Law’s Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA) hosted its eighth annual conference, which explored the theme of Muslim obligations in promoting justice. Nearly one hundred guests attended the event. Student representatives came from as close by as Villanova and Drexel, and also from American University in Washington, DC, and Washington University in St. Louis.
The event featured an afternoon networking reception to kick off the conference. Following the reception, many attendees engaged in the Maghrib (sunset) prayer in a specially prepared prayer area in the Kabacoff Reading Room. Guests then convened in the Levy Conference Center for the speaker presentations portion of the event. Faisal Kutty, an Assistant Professor of Law at Valparaiso University in Indiana presented a talk on the misinterpretations of the term “Jihad.” Amara Chaudhry-Kravitz, a Visiting Professor at Villanova University, then spoke about rising incidents of racial profiling and its impact on Muslim Americans.
Following dinner, Fatina Abdrabboh, the Michigan Director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and a 2010 Penn Law graduate, discussed her foray into civil rights law as a relatively recent law school alum, and also urged attendees to consider careers in this sphere. Ramzi Kassem, an Associate Professor of Law for the City University of New York served as the last speaker and discussed his work representing detainees in detention sites around the world, including Guantanamo Bay and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Professor Kassem presented on incentives in the promotion structure of federal prosecutors, and also weaved his anecdotal experiences in various detention sites into his talk. Conference Chair Zahir Raman L’15 concluded the conference by encouraging attendees to remember the University of Pennsylvania’s own motto, Leges Sine Moribus Vanae: laws without morals are in vain.
MLSA President Haider Sultan L’14 said the efforts and commitment of the association’s members made the conference a memorable success.