This is a time when anyone who is identifiable as Muslim may be targetted. It's a good idea for sisters, and brothers, to stay in groups on campus and when walking home. Get some brothers to volunteer to walk sisters to their destination in pairs, brothers walk in groups. If this is not possible have a phone-ring, call a specific person when leaving home and then again when arriving at your destination.
Also, this is *not* a time for playing hero. Be careful, do not take unnecessary risks. If someone provokes you, do not respond in kind out of a desire to defend Islam or Muslims.. the best thing to do is stay calm and remove yourself from the situation asap. Again, do *not* respond to aggression.
Get in contact with Dean of Students/Head of Student Life and let them know that there is a real risk of hate crimes being perpetrated against Muslims on campus, and request a beefing up of security for Muslim students. Lock down your MSA office and Prayer room, as they may be targetted. Have security at any known Islamic events, like Salatul Jummah, weekly Halaqas etc.
Designate one person to be in charge of any incidents of harassment, whether physical or verbal, on your campus and in your community. Let people know that this is the person that should be contacted if anything happens. Make sure his/her reports are given to the police, on-campus security, and to CAIR. This person can also report actual incidents to the media instead of relying on speculation and rumors.
Come up with a plan on how to deal with local media. One thing to consider is issuing to the local tv stations, radio stations, newspapers etc, an official statement for your MSA that includes contact info for ppl willing to be interviewed. Have a meeting where you discuss *exactly* what to say when interviewed; hype on sympathy for those who were victims of this and their families, that Islam does not sanction violence and Muslims condemn terrorism in the strongest terms possible. Yes, injustice has been committed against others, but two injustices do not make a right and this is not the time to address such issues. Keep your comments clear, direct, and focused on Muslims in America and their outrage at this act.
Also have some people keep a close watch on local media coverage; have people call in to radio shows, request television stations to have more fair coverage and to interview Muslims in the area.
Get in touch with other religious groups on campus and get involved in any and all inter-faith activities or vigils in the coming days. Get local Imams to speak, and get as many Muslims as possible at these events to show that Muslims do not in any way condone what has happened.
Also, try to get involved if there is a blood drive on campus.
wAllahu 'alam.. feel free to add any suggestions you may have.
Shazia SUNY Albany
From MSA Nat'l VP Tabraiz Mohammad...
Please pass this on to as many as you can.
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatu
Alhamdulillah muslims all across the country are coming together to help out
those who most need it.
We at MSA National encourage all MSA's to some of the following ideas.
1. Donate Blood. I received word that they are extremely short on O positive
and O negative in the NY area. Br Altaf Husain (MSA National President) and
Faisal Matadar (DC Council Chair) are currently standing in line at the Red
Cross waiting to donate blood. I encourage more of you to come out. Let them
know the muslims care.
2. Condemn the act. Talk to the media, write to local newspapers, call up
radio stations. Voice your opinions. Let America know how muslims despise of
3. Talk to University officials, Deans, student affairs, local police
departments regarding the issue and the safety of muslims on your campuses.
Remind them that it is unfair and that there is no need for muslims to
recieve backlash because of what happened. MSA's formulate a program of
rides, so that people dont have to worry about walking alone.
Here is a summary of events from different campuses. Please let us know what
you're doing, so that we can use in different parts of North America. We
have much to learn from everyone.
Here What we are doing as U of Guelph, ON (CANADA):
1-We typed a condemnation that has been sent to you earlier, it is posted at
our office door, handed in to the Ontarion, our campus weekly paper.
2- We have been approched by a reporter from the Guelph Mercury daily
paper. We have input and it took more than two thirds of his report.
under the title "Attacks deplored by Muslims"
You can read this report in their paper. search for Guelph mercury.
He showed outstanding understanding and pointed out how the society is
going wrong pointing with accusation to islam and muslims.
3- A round-table descussion is to take place in the Guelph campus radio
station that hosting campus ministers of chrestianity, Islam,and other
faiths also a muslim student will be there. that will be transmitted on
4- contacts with the Human rights office in campus and the city have been
made and a meeting between one of our students and the office has been held
some officers of the Student board have approached us to offer us any help
possible in this regard and even they used our islamic greetings
" Assalamu Alaikum".
Univesity of Michigan Ann Arbor:
We met with the Student Activities and Leadership and made them aware
of our concerns for the safety and well-being of the Muslims on campus
they expressed solidarity and supported many of our efforts to try to
serve the needs of Muslim students on campus.
We also met with Sgt. Gary Hicks of DPS and requested that security be
tightened, especially around areas with concentrations of Muslims as well
as public places. Sgt. Hicks was quite helpful and is ready to offer any
assistance. He can be reached at 936-4167 if any concerns need to be
taken up with DPS.
Also, a letter expressing sympathy, condemning the acts of terror and
showing solidarity as a diverse campus was spearheaded by the MSA which
was then sent to various student groups to be signed. Insha'Allah this
will be in the Daily tomorrow.
We also had a meeting that included assemply leaders, VP of Student Affairs
Royster Harper, and other administrative and campus leaders. We
discussed ways to help the students cope and deal with any potential
backlash. The administration was very concerned with the psychological
and physical well-being of the Muslim students. As a result of the
meeting, one could say the tone of increased tolerance of the vigil was
established and the email from VP Harper was sent to all students on
campus with a similar tone. We also were allowed a speaker at the vigil,
which I hope most of you attended. Alhamdulilah, I think it had a
positive impact on the image that Islam and Muslims have on this campus
with respect to the rest of the student body. We were blessed to be able
to get Dr. Jackson in time (jazahu Allahu khairan).
Tomorrow we will meet with the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs to
discuss how to address the concerns of the Muslim/Arab students and
possibly set up support centers if needed.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
12:00-(Open Ended) Reflection Day at Krannert Amphitheater
Thursday 7-8 pm at Krannert Great Hall
A Time for Remembrance and Unity
Chancellor is the MC
Many Groups including Muslims will be presenting their ideas.
For the Next Continuous Food, Clothing, and Donation
Few Weeks Collection in the masjid at 106 S. Lincoln between Green
Proceeds will be going to the Red Cross
Oct 1-5 Blood Drive. For more info contact: http://vip.union.uiuc.edu/
If there are other MSA's with some different ideas, or/and are doing
somethign different pls contact me immediately.
jazak Allah khair
May Allah help the muslims and those in need
wa salam alaikum
University of Illinois @ Urbana Champaign
VP-US MSA National