Muslims attending BYU find similarities between Islam, LDS tenets

He's been to LDS general conference and sacrament meeting, given a family home evening lesson and shared his beliefs during fast and testimony meeting.

But the one thing that still puzzles Talha Siddiqui, 19, a Muslim from Islamabad, Pakistan, is why Latter-day Saint students at Brigham Young University are so anxious to get married.

"It's kind of funny how to an outsider … everyone is talking about getting married," he said. "How can you all think about the same thing? That kind of felt a little weird for me. Other than that, things have been great."

Siddiqui is one of 10 Pakistani students studying at BYU, where he says he's been warmly welcomed.

"If I tell (someone) I'm not a Mormon, I'm Muslim from Pakistan, they generally have some questions to ask," he said. "Initially, they're surprised to hear that I've come totally from the other side of the world. But I don't think anyone has been mean to me."

Both Siddiqui and Sameer Ahmad, 20, who is originally from Lahore, Pakistan, came to BYU on the advice of friends and family members who had attended or visited.

They were impressed with the Marriott School of Management, the low tuition and the high moral standards. Story continues below

But the unique Provo/Mormon culture has been a bit of an adjustment, even though Ahmad grew up in New York City.

"Back in New York City if you say 'hi' to someone, they assume you're selling them drugs," Ahmad said. "Over here, every other person (says hi). You have to get used to that. It's unusual in a nice way."

When Ahmad learned Siddiqui was coming to BYU, he contacted him, figuring "he might need some help."

"Two years ago I was in the same shoes," Ahmad said. "Utah is a really different place."

But since being here, they both said they're impressed with the similarities between the two cultures and religions.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com