Editor, Daily Nexus,
The prevailing message coming from Muslims across the United States is one of unity among Muslim Americans and other Americans. A message of peace, tolerance and understanding. However, it is rarely newsworthy enough to make it into the headlines of the day. It is unfortunate to see individuals continue to pay for the spread of hate, as is evident in the ad published by David Horowitz on Oct. 14 in the Daily Nexus titled “Stop the Jihad on College Campuses.” The statements were not only placed out of context but are not supported by the greater Muslim community.
Fear and misunderstanding exist among Muslim Americans and other Americans. But, most importantly, we all need to be reminded that we share our identities as Americans. By educating young citizens, lingering animosity is being transformed into love, concern and civic engagement for a country that possesses more religious and civil liberties than almost any other country in the world.
The individuals who took out the ad have a clear message: to propagate fear, hatred and misunderstanding against Muslim Americans. Scare tactics and ignorance are the only things they have going for them. The Muslim Student Association approaches these issues from the opposite direction: by educating the public to bridge gaps in understanding. We believe this is the most effective means for solving these problems. We’re all Americans, irrespective of our religion, and we all believe in the greatness of this country. In response to such fear mongering, the MSA plans on educating everyone about Islamic teachings by holding monthly presentations and discussions at UCSB to address misconceptions while countering fear with truth. As president Franklin D. Roosevelt exclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Nabil Alshurafa grew up in Torrance, CA, after he and his family were evacuated from Kuwait in 1990, before the start of the first Gulf War. He is now a graduate student at UCLA. He is also a member of the Islamic Society of Santa Barbara.