Students found first Muslim sorority

"Striving for the pleasure of Allah through sisterhood, scholarship, leadership and community service."

Published January 18, 2006 9:31PM (EST)

The definition -- or stereotype -- of college "sorority" seems to be expanding quite a bit these days. We've seen the feminist Zeta Omega Eta at Trinity College, and now, as we learn from alt.muslim (and an alert Broadsheet reader): "While Muslims have joined traditional fraternities and sororities for years, a group of Muslim women have taken the step of creating Gamma Gamma Chi -- the first Islamic sorority in the US."

"'As a Muslim who dresses modestly and does not drink, I wouldn't want to set myself apart from the people I was pledging with,' explained 34-year old Imani Abdul-Haqq, a business administration major at Guilford College in Greensboro who started the sorority. 'I want to feel the unity.'"

The group is open to both Muslims and "non-Muslims who are ready to reconcile the benefits of sorority life while keeping with Islamic law," says the article. "Members will have to maintain a minimum GPA, commit themselves to living a non-traditional Greek life (i.e. no hazing, partying, etc.), and commit to the sorority motto ('Striving for the pleasure of Allah through sisterhood, scholarship, leadership and community service') during their membership. The sorority comes complete with secret handshake and a line of Greek accessories in official green-and-purple color schemes."

Gamma Gamma Chi hopes its mantle will be taken up nationwide. "Part of our purpose is visibility," says sorority president Althia Collins. "We want to show Muslim women as they really are. We want to write our own story."

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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