Muslim scholar draws 1,000 for Cal Poly speech on dangers of ‘Islamophobia’
Dalia Mogahed came to Cal Poly’s campus Saturday preaching a message of unity, and the nearly 1,000 people who filled Chumash Auditorium responded in kind — engaging in a thoughtful two-hour presentation on the dangers of Islamophobia.
“It gave me goosebumps every so often,” said Eric Lin, a Cal Poly junior math major who said he is not Muslim. Lin said he was deeply touched by the single piece of advice Mogahed said she would offer to Muslim students and members of other often-persecuted minorities: “Never allow those who dislike you to define you.”
We gave to remember each of the following determinants; setting, demographics, legal issues behind the speaker as well as topic, and unfortunately, the political correctness of each word spoken. I believe that these determinants are what is causing the irate behavior on college campuses and the general mixed-up feelings by those involved.
Mogahed’s talk, “Islamophobia: A Threat to All,” came in response to concerns from Cal Poly’s Muslim student group that they have often felt marginalized on campus. Mogahed is an Egyptian-American Muslim scholar and researcher with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and was an adviser to former President Barack Obama and co-author of the book “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”
She came on short notice after hearing about some of the concerns Cal Poly’s Muslim students have had about not feeling included, Muslim Student Association president Rubia Siddiqi said.
“Every dean on campus has given money to support this event,” Cal Poly professor and Muslim Student Association adviser Stephen Lloyd-Moffett said in his opening remarks. “Literally every corner of this campus has come together to support our Muslim students today.”
It is apparent from the previous paragraph that most students are empathic with what Muslim students are enduring on campus ⸻with the exception that what I have found is that most people who make a distorted complaint are simply referring to something that may or may not have happened in the past.
For example, some incidents have included criticisms about how university officials handled a Muslim student conference last year, as well as anti-Muslim graffiti written on a plywood “Free Speech Wall” set up by the Cal Poly College Republicans.
Furthermore, I would venture to say that most discrimination cases that are filed, are just that, meaning, since there is an opportunity to mindlessly gain a monetary award for anything that makes one uncomfortable, well then, let’s go to court precisely as evidenced by this article.