Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 16th, 2015

For this post, I think it would be wrong to not mention the attacks in not only Paris (in contrary to the media), but also Baghdad, Beirut, Kenya, and all other places in recent days or months. I am glad there will be an opportunity to write a paper on these events in relation to what we have discussed in class, because I cannot express the importance of this – something that so many people in the world to see. Which scares me. I will not go into detail of what my paper will entirely consist of, because it will undoubtedly be long and very opinionated. What I would like to discuss is something of even more recent news – meaning, more news that continues to disgust me more than I sometimes could think possible. In light of these events, people have the audacity to blame Syrian refugees – the very people who are fleeing for their lives because they were being persecuted in their own country by these groups. This is not only happening within Europe (which is extremely important due to being the neighboring nations), but also within the United States. I’m including a segment founded of President Obama’s speech at a G20 conference in Turkey, showing that he has his head on straight and will not refuse any person seeking refuge, BUT 20+ governors, including IL Bruce Rauner, stated that they will shut their states’ borders. When I heard this, I almost vomited in disgust. As the President states, these people are fleeing to gain the same safety and rights that we pride ourselves on, but some still have the audacity to refuse it to them just because they’re Muslim or ‘different.’ I could go on forever about how fumed I am at this moment – but I do suggest watching this clip (, because it will give some light that not all politicians are hopeless.

In response to @andrewrylandwhite, I too have seen that poem, and I’m glad you shared it. As I’ve stated above and you in your post, the whole world hurts. It’s not just in Paris or the Western world against Islam. The media and much of society fails to recognize that Beirut was also hit, Baghdad as well recently, and even Kenya this past April. I am so sick of people’s ignorance and truly do not understand how any person can truly believe that Islam is a religion of hate and violence. It takes literally maybe 30 minutes maximum (if you’re being concise) or less to do simple research and understand that what the media and the West has created is not true. 21% of the world follows the Islam faith – number 2 behind Christianity. How do people think that the acts of these few extremists represent the 1.5 billion Muslims? As andrewrylandwhite quoted, “When we realize that all life is precious, regardless of age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, religion, or race, we hold each other closer to our hearts. As the Qur’an (Qur’an 5:32) asserts, we can see that the taking or saving of one life, in turn, hurts or helps all of humanity.” I am truly worried for what is yet to come, not for myself – but for the lives of the innocent 3 million refugees outside Syria’s borders, the 6.5 internally displaced, and my Muslim peers who will now have to face a whole new front, like as so after 9/11.


In class we finished watching Camp Xray and the ending left me with a heavy heart. I think the film did a good job of portraying the different perspectives of the people in Guantanamo Bay. There was the obvious plight of the prisoners who were treated very poorly and inhumanely. Some of these detainees, many of whom are innocent, spend years upon years in the prison, not knowing what their future holds for them. The film also showed the plight of the guards. There were some guards who were so used to routine, they forgot that they are dealing with humans. They did as they wished with the detainees and didn’t see anything wrong with their actions. There were also those guards who couldn’t handle the prison and what was happening there and what it was doing to them that they decided to end their own lives. I don’t think the character of Kristen Stewart would ever be able to forget Ali.

In response to

I heard the news of the Paris bombings from my parents. Each told me separately, their voices trailing away, “We live in a crazy world.” Dr. Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center, reiterated my parents’ thoughts on this heartfelt blogpost: Where Does it Hurt, O City of Light. He included this moving poem by Somali-British writer, Warsan Shire:

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

Everywhere people suffer. On the streets of Baghdad, Beirut, Chicago, Damascus, Jakarta, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, and Paris, people hurt from the microagressions of bigotry and the macroagressions of violence and war. However, whether large or small, Omid Safi suggests, aggression is the result of unprocessed grief, which “lashes out in ignorant, unhelpful ways.”

When we cannot sit with each other in a beloved community, as Dr. Martin Luther King hoped, grief only metastasizes like cancer inside us. The attention turns away from our collective suffering to individual hurt, thereby curtailing any efforts for communal — let alone global — healing. When we realize that all life is precious, regardless of age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, religion, or race, we hold each other closer to our hearts. As the Qur’an (Qur’an 5:32) asserts, we can see that the taking or saving of one life, in turn, hurts or helps all of humanity.

Perhaps more importantly, the idea of a beloved community shows us the deception of war. A deep and penetrating love for our global community removes war’s mask, revealing its true nature: mass killing predicated on fear of the “Other.” We see that fear of the “Other” motivated U.S. occupation in Iraq, where some reports estimate one million people have been killed. All around the world, whether masqueraded as jihad or fighting terrorism, war hinders our ability to love each other. I hope that the attacks in Paris will not lead to war; as my Muslim friends say, inshallah.

In class this week, we talked about having trust in God, and this (for some) shows a sign of weakness. In my opinion, one should have some trust in themselves and in God. We also talked about how everyone has a price that would buy their values. We were asked if we would do certain things for a certain amount of money, and I thought this was an interesting way of looking at things. Specific values of ours are more expensive than others, and it is cool to look at them in as kind of a price range. All of the characteristics we spoke about in class are different areas of a person’s personality. Islam shapes these characteristics and pushes them in the path that may be best for Muslims. Some values in Islam are more valuable than others.

In response to , I agree that the way these prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were being treated really de-humanized them and made it seem as if they were animals. On top of that, as portrayed in the film, some of these prisoners could have been innocent but they were not given the rights to a fair trial. The fact that they had no idea how long they would be in there is also unjust. I think it is pretty evident that the whole system is pretty corrupt especially because a major part of President Obama’s presidential campaign 7 years ago was promising the termination of Guantanamo Bay, yet we still have it.  Overall, I enjoyed the film Camp X-Ray and thought that it portrayed a pretty emotional relationship between the prison guard and the prisoner.