Muslim Association Pres. Reacts


This week marks the sixteenth anniversary of a national catastrophe: the incident known simply as 9/11. And sixteen years later, the American public continues to bombard the American-Muslim population with hateful and vile rhetoric, using them as their personal scapegoat for international issues. We’ll remember and mourn the devastating loss of lives on that day sixteen years ago, but also take a look at those who were wrongly accused and persecuted for a crime they did not commit, and who were equally impacted by the attack on their country.

“‘I was shocked. I remember I was not able to even think or do anything for at least an hour,’ said Tahereh Hatemi, president of the Muslim Student Association at MC-R. As she continued expressing her feelings on Tuesday’s events, her main concern was the safety of all Muslim students on campus and those that lost loved ones in the terrorist campaign.

“Regardless of media reports that Muslims or people with any Arabic descent were attacked, Hatemi said that she felt safe on campus. ‘To be honest with you, people were very nice, especially in Student Life and I want to thank Dean Mary Ann Beatty who was very supportive.’ Although Hatemi said she felt safe, other Muslim students did not feel the same way. Hatemi said that many called her at home and voiced their concern about school safety. ‘The girls felt very vulnerable due to their Hijab dress,’ said Hatemi. The Hijab is the scarf some Muslim women wear.

“Even though Hatemi said she heard that some Muslim students were attacked at UMBC and the University of Maryland-College Park, she had to be strong as association president, and let fellow students know that she would not be intimidated. Hatemi was further encouraged by the support she got from the administration. She said that Dean Beatty told her that if any Muslim students were afraid to attend classes, they could ask school security to escort them. In order to continue with their faith in daily prayer observance, Hatemi said that the MC-R administration changed their prayer room from the back room of the athletic department to a safer place in Student Life.

“As further information becomes available on the terrorist attack, Hatemi said ‘Please do not take individual acts as those of the Muslim community. We cannot blame the American society for Tim McVeigh, so we can’t also blame the Islamic society because of individual actions.”’