Terrorism, in the modern sense, is violence against civilians to achieve political or ideological objectives through creating fear. Last time I checked, that was the accurate definition. Last Monday, an ad was published which created a lot of confusion and fear in our school, especially for the Muslim student community. The ad claimed the Muslim Student Association on campuses across the country - including UCSB - was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations, where they preach “jihad.”
At first glance, the ad seemed like an official announcement or article, which could confuse some readers. Now, when members of the MSA are accused of being linked to terrorist organizations and people believe it, this would give rise to a major security risk for them and for students around them. Fortunately, the majority of our campus’ faculty, staff and students showed their support for the MSA by condemning the ad, with a few exceptions - but it’s a free country, and we listen to other opinions, whether we like it or not.
First of all, any person on campus who met with any members of the MSA or attended their events would know the claims linking the MSA to terrorists are absurd. All MSA meetings and events are always open, with an invitation for all the UCSB community to attend and educate themselves. The Muslim community attends UCSB for the same reason as everyone else: to seek finer higher education in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. This Muslim community came together to represent themselves within the student body, to support each other and educate their fellow colleagues. That is what is now known as MSA. The ad was published by David Horowitz, a person notorious for his anti-Islamic propaganda and his hate for the Muslim communities around the country. The real reason for such hate is unknown to us, and I honestly hope he gets over whatever it is that pissed him off. The funny part is he still uses the same “evidence,” which has already been debunked. All of the Muslim community support freedom of speech and freedom in general, and always will. Being a Muslim is a privilege and the right to free practice is protected by the laws of this land. With such propaganda spreading, being Muslim is not as easy anymore. Last week, I was called a terrorist on more than one occasion, some jokingly and some not. Either way I had the same reaction: Laugh about it. But having received such attitudes, especially the serious ones, I cannot help but feel an unwelcoming vibe and some concern for my security. (MORE)