Thursday, April 26, 2018
Islam Week Confronts Islamophobia and Racism

Islam Week Confronts Islamophobia and Racism

GILLIAN REINHARD ’20

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Across universities in the United States and United Kingdom, an Islamophobic movement called “Punish a Muslim Day” has swept society. In New York City, police forces have braced for the upcoming day, April 3, expecting hate crimes to become more common, with mosques being advised to increase security and women who wear hijabs warned to be more cautious than usual. The event began with a flyer that circulated around British universities, advocating for violence against Muslims, which included throwing acid and vandalizing mosques. In response, several universities have decided to turn the racist event into a day to celebrate Islamic culture and people.

Trinity’s own Muslim Student Association (MSA) has organized “Islam Week,” to celebrate and better understand Islamic culture. The MSA e-board, comprised of Hamna Tariq ’20, Rinom Chowdhury ’20, Sababa Anber ’20, Philisha Abrahim ’20, and Salma Tarek ’20, has created a week of different events. “Discover Islam Week is something that has been happening on Trinity’s campus for several years. It’s for both Muslims to celebrate their religion and for non-Muslims to learn more about Islam,” explained Chowdhury.

The week began with a presentation of “Dirty Paki Lingerie,” a one-woman play by Aizzah Fatima, which addressed stereotypes about Islamic women. The play was sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, with support from International House (IHouse), the Theater and Dance Department, and the International Studies Department.

Tuesday will host “Ruins of the Homeland” in the Chapel crypt, which will feature Syrian artist Mohamed Hafez.

The talk will focus on how he depicts different cultures and ongoing con-ict in the Middle East.Wednesday will showcase a discussion on Islamophobia featuring Wesleyan Mus- lim Chaplain Sami Aziz. Thursday will also address stereotypes of Muslims and will feature a discussion re- garding portrayal in the me- dia led by the MSA e-board. The week will conclude with an outside demonstration of jummah prayer on the quad and will wrap-up with a con- versation with the Muslim Student Association. “Since the events are so diverse, people can make a lot of connections to their own cultures and every conversation is an intersectional one,” continued Chowdhury.

Members of the MSA e-board were quick to voice their passion for the week. “(Islam Week) means having a safe space to express our opinions and show our com- munity that we exist, we are proud of who we are, and that our religion is intersection- al, and not extremist,” com- mented Tariq. Chowdhury added her own thoughts, remarking, “There’s a cer- tain image that people have in their head when they think of Muslims, so hope- fully this week helps people understand Islam and the Muslim community better.”

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