In a heartening show of solidarity amid rising levels of anti-Muslim hate in America, University of Michigan students came together to protect their own.
After hearing that a Muslim student had allegedly been threatened for her faith, hundreds of students and faculty came out to stand guard around Muslim classmates who had gathered in the university’s main square to offer prayers.
Donald Trump 'planning register for Muslims'
The public Ishaa prayer, was organised by the university’s Muslim Student Association. Farhan Ali, the club president, said members of his group wanted to show the campus that they were proud to be Muslim, The Huffington Post reported.
“Some individuals were afraid that we might be vulnerable during our prayer, so we had the idea of calling allies to support us and create a circle around us while we prayed and they ensured our safety,” Ali said.
However, Ali wasn’t expecting such a large turnout from the Muslim community and from allies. Overwhelmed by the show of support he said, “Hundreds and hundreds of people came out for both prayer and showing their support.”
“The amount of support was overwhelming and absolutely wonderful, and it brought some ease to the Muslim students [and] showed that we have other individuals who are willing to stand with us.”
Further, Mohammed Ishtiaq, the university’s Muslim chaplain, told The Huffington Post that both Jewish and Christian communities on campus came out to show their support. He said among the crowd some people held signs that read, “You Belong Here.”
“Although it was a cold night, the amount of support we got was really heart warming,” Ishtiaq said in an email. “Events of solidarity like this give us hope.”
Trump firm on agenda but says Americans have nothing to fear
Reports of harassment and bullying of Muslims and other minorities have spiked following Donald Trump’s shock victory in the 2016 US elections.
During his campaign, the president-elect sparked controversy by suggesting that Muslims should be required to register in a database and proposed a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.
However, Ali said, “We must roll up our sleeves and get to work because the fight does not end with the election results.” “We have allies who are with us and we have a community that is resilient and will not succumb to fear in light of these attacks.”
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ