Letter from Egypt circulates Webster mailboxes
BY ALEXANDER BRANDT
(Webster Groves, March 15, 2011) Professors and faculty members have been receiving religious pamphlets, with their names and office address’ on envelopes, from an Islamic organization in Alexandria, Egypt.
Sent by Conveying Islamic Message Society (CIMS), the small pamphlets advertise learning about “The Real Islam.”
Tracy Winka, manager of Public Safety, said that some faculty members and professors felt that it was suspicious. Some teachers who received these five-page religious tracts did not feel comfortable having them, and gave them to Public Safety.
“Some of them wouldn’t open it up,” Winka said. “It’s nothing suspicious or threatening. It just explains the Islamic religion.”
Winka said that the pamphlets received by Public Safety were thrown away.
Justin Tetley, a coordinator for the mail and copy center, said that they have received 75-100 of these envelopes from Egypt.
“They are still coming in and being sent out to the exterior as well as the international campuses,” Tetley said.
The pamphlet contains details about the religion as well as contact information. There is a website listed that offers free publications about Islam and also an email address as well as an online chat room that allows one-on-one correspondence with a representative of CIMS.
CIMS is affiliated with Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is the second oldest degree granting university in Egypt. According to the CIMS website, the group has been sending religious tracts around the world since 1974. Their sole concern: “Acquainting the world with Islam’s principles through books and pamphlets in different languages and answering Islamic questions.”
Abdulaziz Al-Wosifer, who just graduated this month with a master’s degree in advertising and marketing communications, said that part of being a Muslim is to share with others what you believe in. Al-Wosifer, however, said that he does not agree with the way CIMS chose to share.
“They approached this not knowing the culture,” Al-Wosifer said. “I disagree with this. I believe the way you should convey your religion is through your actions.”