Laurier Brantford’s MyRespect is doing its part to promote diversity and acceptance throughout campus. The committee held a candle-lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 25. A speaker from Brantford’s Muslim Association was brought in to gain more of an understanding of what recently happened in Paris. There were many discussions at this event, especially ones about the Paris attacks.
“We discussed how many were sad about the heartbroken we were to see the extreme increase of Islamophobia in our community and even on social media. Many of us got extremely emotional thinking of the discrimination the Muslim community was facing. We decided we had to do something to show solidarity on our campus” said Kate Harvey, coordinator for the MyRespect committee.
It was important for the MyRespect committee to show their support with the Muslim Community and to not listen to everything we hear in the media. The event had a great turnout with a great number of students and faculty who came and united as one.
Imam (worship leader) Shaikh Abu Noman Tarek was the representative from Brantford’s Muslim Association who came to speak to those who came out to the event. He opened the eyes of many and talked about how the religion of Islam is portrayed in the media.
“Diversity is part of God’s plan… God said I made you different so that you recognize everyone. The difference is there for a good reason… not show you are superior to others and not that someone is inferior to others” said Tarek.
“The word Islam itself means peace… why is there so much violence in the name of Islam? The media portrays Islam that looks like all violence is from the religion of Islam. Violence is taking place in the name of greed, tension ect. It’s so complex. It’s not only happening in the name of Islam” said Tarek.
Tarek references the Paris attacks. People of Paris attacked Syria after the Paris attacks and Tarek responds with, “Islam only teaches peace… you cannot fix evil by doing evil.”
Many people were moved and inspired by Tarek’s words gave people an understanding of the Paris attacks and the religion of Islam. After the discussion, everyone at the event gathered in the courtyard for the candle ceremony. All stood in a circle while Tarek said a prayer and had a moment of silence
“I loved everything. I loved the way students and faculty came together. I loved the opportunity to listen and learn from my peers about their feelings and what I can do to support them,” said Harvey.