REGINA, Saskatchewan – While the majority of Canadians felt the pain of Quebec attack on mosque worshippers, a young Muslim student at the University of Regina thought it was time to make a change in the way others perceive her Islamic faith.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there that I think is really important to dispel,” Aysha Yaqoob, a third year education student at the University of Regina, told CBC on Tuesday, February 7.
The young woman coordinated Meet a Muslim, an event held on campus Monday night, that aimed to address misconceptions surrounding Muslims among the general public.
The event was a chance for Yaqoob to talk about her own experiences as a Muslim and address myths, misconceptions, stereotypes and any other type of ignorance surrounding Islam and its followers.
It was also partly inspired by the US travel ban, imposed late last month.
“There’s a lot of fear out there,” Yaqoob said. “People are scared of me, of other Muslims.”
By reaching out to others, Yaqoob said friends and strangers offered support to her and the general Muslim community as well.
“It’s really nice to know that it’s not just us fighting for this or voicing our concerns,” Yaqoob said, adding she hadn’t seen any negative comments.
After disheartening Quebec attack, Yaqoob sees dialogue and attempt to educate people are the best choice.
“I try not to take things so personally any more but I still want myself to acknowledge that there is this racism going on,” she said.
“I try not to block myself away from it but it has been a process.”