By Jesse Rosales
Members of the Muslim Student Association and other supporters made their voices heard Feb. 7 when they gathered at the University Quad to protest President Donald Trump and his administration’s actions.
Approximately 30 students and faculty marched and chanted in a route beginning at the pancakes in the University Quad, going around the College of Business, around the library and back to the quad.
Neda Ahmed, a second-year kinesiology student and member of MSA, explained the protest was not for a single cause, but against the collective actions of Trump and his administration.
“We’re protesting Trump. Everything about Trump. Everything he’s doing. He’s hurting millions of people, not only in the U.S. but across the world,” said Ahmed.
Students were encouraged to speak their opinions through a megaphone while onlookers circled the demonstrators.
Ibrahim Majoo is a fourth-year computer information systems student and MSA member who believed the protest was a success in letting the students’ voices be heard.
“I think that they were good discussions,” said Majoo. “Just to let people express their opinions see what things are going on. Because a lot of people have stuff going inside them and they don’t want to say anything. But I think that was a good opportunity for everyone talk.”
Trump’s recent actions have been inciting activists to assemble on a national scale.
His executive order banning travel from seven predominately Muslim countries has since been stopped by a unanimous federal appeals decision Thursday.
The panel of three judges concluded that the administration failed to show evidence that a terrorist attack from any of the seven countries had been committed against the United States. They also suggested that the ban did not help national security.
Nishat Anzum is a fourth-year electrical engineering student and member of MSA. She expressed her views on the president’s attempt to ban travel for refugees in the name of national security.
“Closing the borders to these people is a tragedy for our country,” said Anzum. “We’re publicized as a nation that’s a diversified nation, an open-minded nation. And by having this executive order placed and issued, it’s a shame for the country. It’s a shame for our people because we’re closing it up to individuals who need help. We’re known as a country that helps other countries.”
Ahmed stressed the understanding that many refugees are fleeing dangerous war-torn areas.
“Bombs are falling on them. They have no homes. They have nothing. They have no food, they have no water. People are killing them,” said Ahmed.
She also brought to attention the historical similarities of singling out minorities in our country’s past.
“I’m not surprised that they’re trying to get rid of Muslims now. They did that with the Japanese,” said Ahmed.
Anzum also explained that those who follow Islam are more prevalent than expected since Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
“Muslims are everywhere. Muslims are driving taxis, they’re working at 7-11s. We’re doctors, we’re teachers here and engineers,” said Anzum.
Many people, however, see a silver lining to what is considered as political turmoil in the country.
“The community is coming together even though there’s bad stuff happening,” said Majoo. “We’re all coming together to show that we care about what’s happening. We’re not going to be silent. If you’re silent, the administration is going to win.”
The following day, the MSA hosted Hijab Day on the gallery lawn. The purpose of the event was to educate anyone who had questions on what the hijab represents or Muslims in general.
Ahmed believes that these events help in breaking down misconceptions that some may have gathered through sensational media coverage.
“Some guy the other day, he told me ‘When you first talked to me I was scared because I never talked to a Muslim before,'” said Ahmed. She did respect his honesty.
The MSA plans on hosting more events throughout the quarter. Announcements of information can be found on the MSA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Jesse Rosales / The Poly Post
The protest was held Feb. 7, followed by Hijab Day on Wednesday
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