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Muslim Student Association Holds Vigil in Honor of Lives Lost Due to Islamophobia

  • Muslim students hold vigil to remember victims of Islamophobia
  • Muslims have made progress in representation in government, sports, and education
  • Islamophobia remains a prevalent problem in the US

Hate and Islamophobia are two interconnected issues that have devastating consequences for individuals and communities. The consequences of hate and Islamophobia are clear: they kill.

Daring bad weather, members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) held a vigil last Friday to remember the victims and lives lost in the US due to Islamophobia, The Charger Bulletin reported.

Starting the vigil, Youssef Ossama, the president of MSA and a senior studying marketing, spoke about the ignorance he encountered about his faith.

📚 Read Also: Stanford Univ. Introduces First Course on Islamophobia

“I had to educate my peers because, for many of them, I was the first Muslim they encountered,” said Ossama. “My parents always encouraged me to portray my religion and my culture with integrity and courage.”

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Despite constant discrimination, Muslims made progress over the past two decades, gaining representation in government, sports, education, and others.

“Muslims have slowly gained representation in the government, US television, sports, higher education, and a presence in the public sphere across the country, and we will continue to thrive whether they are native-born or an immigrant, a convert or born into the faith,” said Ossama.

“Muslim Americans are the most diverse, among the most educated [and] among the most employed with roots in every part of the world.”

Learn about Islam

Barbara Lawrence, the vice president for institutional equity and diversity at the University of New Haven, encouraged university students and faculty to educate themselves about Islam.

“Continue to reflect and confront your own if you have internalized Islamophobia. Learn about Islam – its history, its culture – and historic and current figures,” said Lawrence.

“We ask ourselves, students, staff, and faculty to research the many diverse cultures across the world that practice Islam.”

Islamophobia, defined as the dislike of, or prejudice against, Islam or Muslims, remains a prevalent problem in the US.

According to FBI, anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US skyrocketed after 9/11, 2001, and are still on an upward trend.

Last year, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported a 9% increase in the number of civil rights complaints it received from Muslims in the US since 2020.

Titled “Still Suspect: The Impact of Structural Islamophobia,” the report detailed more than 6,700 civil rights complaints the Washington, DC, based group received in 2020.