The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Speaker warns of Islamophobia

Islamophobia was addressed last Wednesday on campus in the form of an open discussion hosted by the DVC Muslim Student Association. Islamophobia is described by “Discrimination and Human Rights” author, Sandra Fredman as, “prejudice against, or hatred or irrational fear of, Muslims.”

Dr. Ejaz Naqvi, MD and author of “The Quran: With or Against the Bible” says Islamophobia, “…is not an accident, it is a specific act to demonize Islam. It is a campaign of fear, hate and misinformation.”

Several professors and doctors were present on the discussion panel including Dr. Araim Amer, a DVC professor; Dr. Munir Jiwa, Director of the Graduate Theological Union Center of Islamic Studies and Dr. Ejaz Naqvi. Student speakers Nicolas Holmes and Roshan Rahimi, were also present to express their views. Holmes is currently a staff writer with the Inquirer.

In an interview following the forum, Dr. Jiwa said, “Assuming everyone’s American, we’re all working towards understanding. There should be more interfaith…understanding what we have in common. People don’t always have to accept but it’s important for people of all backgrounds to know and participate in forums.”

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During the discussion Dr. Naqvi said that the media is largely responsible for the negative attitudes towards Muslims. News stations such as Fox and to some extent CNN are responsible for only focusing on the negative aspects within the Islamic community and not taking into consideration that 82 percent of terrorist acts are not Muslim-related in any way. He said in an interview afterwards “…some are misinformed but others have a negative agenda. Women can lead prayer in mosques, but you won’t see that in the media.”

Naqvi said, “Silence is not an option. Whoever you are, student, whatever, we need to get engaged. [Islamophobia] is an attack on American values of peace and justice for all.”

Roshan Rahimi, a member of the Muslim Student Association, spoke at the forum, despite her initial nervousness, to bring awareness to the fact that she is a modern Muslim woman who has made her own decisions and is not oppressed.
She said that during her high school junior summer she made the decision to wear the scarf. To everyone, including herself, the transformation was overnight but has remained true years later. Rahimi’s parents, when they first saw her wearing the traditional Muslim scarf on her head, were afraid for her. The social implications of wearing a scarf can be frightening and Rahimi said, “People do judge me.”

Rahimi chose to speak because ever since she has worn a scarf she has had a stream of unending questions from “Did your parents make you?” to “Do you wear that in the shower and when you sleep?” Rahimi loves her scarf. She said “My scarf gives me a voice, gives me an opinion.”

Naqvi believes speaking out is the best way to combat Islamophobia saying, “Jihad by the pen. See injustice? (Muslims) need to say something. Violence never succeeds.”

Rahimi said that after years “…my family has accepted my scarf. My name is Roshan, I am not oppressed and I approve this message.”

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Speaker warns of Islamophobia