Wash U Muslim Students Association: We Need Imam on Campus After Traumatic Seal Team 6 Halloween Costumes

You will not believe this story.
Muslim students at Washington University are asking for an imam on campus after several fraternity brothers dressed as SEAL Team 6 and Osama Bin Laden for Halloween.

wash u seal team six
Washington University fraternity members dressed as SEAL Team 6 and Osama Bin Laden for Halloween this year. (Student Life)

Muslim students complained after fellow students dressed as SEAL Team 6 and Osama Bin Laden for Halloween. University officials held an emergency meeting to deal with the controversy.

Campus officials held several emergency meetings after this traumatic event.
Leadership also promised to focus on the obvious Islamophobia on campus.

Now this…
The Muslim Students Association released a statement asking for an imam on campus.
From the Wash U Student Life:

Posted By Muslim Student Association On November 14, 2013 (12:00 am) In Forum

The Muslim Students Association (MSA) would like to issue a statement in regards to a Halloween image shared on Facebook on October 30. Some members of our Muslim community were deeply affected by the content of the photo, and many were negatively impacted by insensitive and bigoted comments that followed. As the Muslim Students Association, we aim to provide a safe space for Muslims at Washington University; however, we cannot do this independent of student culture and administrative support. To that effect, we are invested in moving forward from this incident in a way that is both healing and productive for Muslim students, other minority students, and our larger Washington University community.

Last Thursday, MSA hosted a solidarity forum during which Muslim students were given a platform to relate their experiences with Islamophobia on campus and discuss the ways in which they were triggered by this recent incident. It was truly heartwarming to see so many friends and allies show their love and support during the forum, and MSA is deeply grateful towards all who attended. However, insights from the forum have made it strikingly clear that there is a woeful lack of resources and support services for Muslim students to utilize during times of need. The need for a Muslim chaplain, a religious authority figure who can serve as a spiritual resource and to whom students can turn to in times of need, is highly evident. In a similar vein, it appears fitting to establish a space on main campus in which Muslims students can not only congregate to pray and fulfill their daily religious duties, but also seek refuge and build community. We are painfully aware of how small our community is and implore the administration to include representation of Islamic religious services/events alongside other religious groups in admissions, prospective students’, and orientation literature.

One of the greatest lessons Islam teaches us as Muslims is the importance of forgiveness and mercy. As such, MSA is not seeking punitive measures against the individuals in the photo in question nor do we support further mobilization around the photo itself. We recognize that this incident is symptomatic of a larger student culture that needs improvement in the way of cultural understanding and inclusivity, and we intend to be part of a larger coalition of student groups and administrators committed to achieving this end. We applaud the statement released by the SU Diversity Affairs Council earlier this week and echo the call to action issued towards students and administrators in making Washington University a safer and more welcoming campus. In that effort, we hope to also engage with the larger Washington University community in dialogue to promote better understanding and acceptance. We invite you to join us.

With peace,

The Washington University in St. Louis Muslim Students Association

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