The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Thank you for aiding awareness

 Thank you for aiding awareness
Thank you for aiding awareness

Thank you for aiding awareness

Greetings Mustangs, from your fellow Muslim Mustangs. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank the much-maligned Daily Campus for their expansive coverage of the Islam in North Texas conference. The DC often gets criticized for misspellings, misinformation and missing the point. This time, they made no mistake. In fact, they were right on in their coverage of the conference hosted by the History Department and the Center for Southwest Studies at SMU.

We are eternally grateful for hard working individuals such as Andrea Boardman, Dennis Cordell, James Hopkins and countless others who worked diligently to provide a much needed service to the community of SMU and to Dallas. SMU’s dedication to learning and tolerance are truly ideals that we all, as members of this university, should embody. The importance of the conference and the positive coverage is greater than you will ever know, and our appreciation is greater than any amount of words can really express.

If you had an opportunity to attend the conference or read the articles, you got the sense that perhaps the greatest challenge facing the Muslim community and minority groups today and for the past several years has been ignorance. This is rarely an ignorance of intent or an ignorance of maliciousness. It is an ignorance that results from a simple lack of awareness. It is mostly an ignorance of the unknown.

As with anything, we fear what we do not know. Often, as many Muslim Americans can attest to, we are challenged with questions that may be unanswerable. We are sometimes greeted with awkward stares because some of us have beards while girls cover their heads with hijaabs. Even worse, sometimes young individuals are threatened by individuals who did not have the chance to attend a conference on Islam or read a newspaper highlighting this mysterious religion or probably do not care to.

Sometimes, “religious leaders” like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson attack our history and our leaders without any textual or theological support for their criticism.

Sometimes, young medical students traveling to Florida to take a course for their studies are reported to FBI investigators because they allegedly made comments at a restaurant about a terror plot they were planning. Interestingly enough, the manager who made the call is the only witness to this conversation. No one else heard them say anything threatening, including their waitress.

Though they have denied any terrorist involvement and have been cleared of any charges after 17 hours of detainment, these young individuals have been barred from the medical program they were driving to attend. Their reputations are ruined. Apparently, the person who made the report did not attend a conference like this or read The Daily Campus. Such is the life of many Muslim-Americans in a post-Sept. 11 world.

Closer to home, on the Sept. 11 anniversary, an event that every American including Muslims commemorated, a wellness class instructor agreed with a student’s suggestion that in order to solve world peace problems, we must simply “blow up the Middle East.” Needless to say, this is not a viable solution.

Another young lady was almost hit by a student in a black truck while walking to her car parked in the Airline garage. The driver stopped his truck and asked, “Did I scare the little Middle East girl?”

Another student who happens to be of Hindu faith, an entirely different religion, was threatened by some students while working at the Cinco Center. They asked him if he was Muslim, to which he replied he was not. “Well we don’t care, we’re gonna get you after work,” they said.

On the day of the conference, some joggers were seen tearing apart conference signs along the campus streets. When questioned they said, “We do not like this stuff.” Obviously, these individuals should have attended the conference or read the DC articles.

The conference, by the graces of God, was truly a tremendous success with an estimated crowd of 400 people who took steps toward building a true community.

Furthermore, we as Muslims are not asking for pity or for anyone to feel sorry for us. Actually, we feel sorry for those individuals who continue to live their lives in ignorance.

Challenge yourself. Know the unknown. The MSA of SMU is here to help educate you and work with you in implementing our University’s vision to “shape citizens who contribute to their communities and lead their professions in a global society.”

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