Yousif Radeef’s mission at Parkland College and in the community is to show by example how Muslims want to live in peace with their neighbors.

Radeef, 19, who was born in Baghdad, said he has encountered discrimination since he came to Champaign with his family in 2004, and he said those experiences made him even more determined to give the Muslim community a positive image.

“I meet people and when they say stuff, I ignore it,” he said. “I don’t blame them. I want our people to have a peaceful image.”

He started a Muslim Student Association last year to unite other students and get them involved in his campaign. The association will hold a conference at 6 p.m. today in Parkland’s Flag Lounge with three guest speakers who will talk about Islam denouncing terrorism. Radeef, who is president of the association, said non-Muslim students and others are invited to the conference to ask questions about the topic.

In late April, the association will also hold a run on campus to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

“The only reason I got involved in so many things is to establish credibility as a Muslim,” Radeef said. “I want to convince people that what they hear about Muslims isn’t right. We want people to see us involved in positive activities.”


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