Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy, a Jesuit Catholic institution, has made the commitment to “stand with the Muslim community against Islamophobia.”
At a time when fear-mongering and anti-Muslim rhetoric is being spewed left and right, it is especially noble of those who choose to show kindness and compassion to Muslims.
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According to faculty senate president Heather Hill-Vásquez, this declaration is in response to the anti-Muslim stance of none other than Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who claims if elected he will institute a moratorium on Muslim immigration into the U.S.
Although the official statement doesn’t explicitly name Trump, it says “anti-Muslim rhetoric emerging from a number of political figures on the national stage [is] reckless,” also adding that it promotes “an atmosphere of violence and intolerance against Muslims and their places of worship across the nation.”
The university’s statement is spot on as evidenced by the many vandalized mosques, physical attacks, and just overall hateful attitude that Muslims have been enduring.
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The statement was approved by a vote of 25 to 2 in mid-December and emailed to students and alumni as well as posted on Facebook, declaring the university “is a sanctuary where the human rights and faith of all our students will be respected, and where discrimination or violence against any member of our community, faculty, or staff will not be tolerated,” according to The College Fix.
Hill-Vásquez reportedly said she’s received an “overwhelmingly positive” response from students and alumni about the statement being passed.
“The hope is that in passing that statement and making it public to the university community as well as the university community outside into Detroit and beyond is stating that this is a safe place for people of all faiths and beliefs, ethnicities, genders, and so on and so forth,” Hill-Vásquez said.
Detroit Mercy’s statement is especially important for two key reasons: the first is because the school is located near Dearborn, Michigan, which has the largest population of Arab Americans in the U.S. Showing support to your own neighbors is a testament to the community’s solidarity.
Secondly, it sends a very powerful message to those who claim to hold strong religious values yet choose not to honor the principles of inclusiveness and compassion that are at the core of nearly every religion.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst