In an attempt to target an issue in many college communities like Fairfield, a panel was hosted by Rev. Mark Scalese, S.J., called “Anti-Muslim Rhetoric: Fairfield Responds,” which addressed the issue of bias and hate speech directed towards this minority group.
The panel, which took place in the lower level of the Barone Campus Center on Feb. 3, featured a personal account of a refugee experience, which gave students a unique perspective on the impact of hateful comments on Muslims.
Another topic covered at the panel was the current U.S. political climate towards Muslims. Several members of the panel discussed the ongoing American belief that when new people come into our country that are different in some way than the average American, they are seen as a pollutant.
It was noted during the panel that this was the same way that many Americans reacted to Jews when anti-Semitism was a major problem in our nation.
Additionally, several members of the panel also discussed how many Americans feel threatened by Islam because they associate it with the terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). However, several of the panelists agreed that not everyone who practices Islam should be feared because ISIS is just a small group of Muslims, and not every Muslim has terrorist intentions.
All the panelists agreed that there has to be something done about the way in which Muslims are viewed and treated in our society, and that the Fairfield community should take steps to eradicate this issue at our University.