Two weeks ago, Fresno State’s Muslim students were excused from attending class to celebrate the Muslim holiday, Eid-ul-Adha. Last week we were again granted an excuse not to attend class, this time as a safety precaution.
As a Muslim student attending Fresno State, I thank my university for taking the concerns of Muslim students seriously, but I feel the concern should have been better addressed. The email sent to instructors spread panic rather than showing our university’s pride in diversity and an American’s right to freedom of religion. Sending out a campus-wide email letting all students know that Fresno State is willing to go an extra mile to protect its diverse population would have been a better approach to this situation.
Anti-Islam protests will continue to happen, unfortunately, and we cannot allow them to impact any Fresno State students’ education. I came to Fresno State knowing its stance on diversity and believing that even in my hijab, I would be welcome. When I walk around campus, my peers should not see me as a stigmatized individual, but rather as another American exercising my right to practice my religion and earn my education freely in a safe environment for all students.
Nayirah Dosu, Fresno