Muslim students upset over Ft. Hood

Organization to talk about shooting at week of events

The Muslim Student Association will hold activities on Nov. 17, 18 and 19 as part of a week of Islamic awareness at Ball State University.

The shooting of Nov. 5 when Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a military psychiatrist, opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, will likely be a topic of discussion at the events. Thirteen people were killed and 29 were wounded during the shooting. Hasan was a Muslim.

"We have discussed lately about [how to address the shooting]," he said. "We decided we are going to do what we always do and if someone asks, we will clarify."

Solaiman Sajjad, vice president of MSA, said events for the week of Islamic awareness have been planned long ago, and the topics have already been set.

Sajjad said speaker Wazir Ali will give a lecture Nov. 19 at Ball State. Ali is from Texas.

"I'm sure people will have questions," he said. "So speakers and students will try to answer them the best they can."

MSA President Khalid Sajjad said his first reaction when he heard about the shooting at Fort Hood was hope that the shooter was not Muslim.

"We spend years building a reputation," he said. "We have been trying to build community relations and one man destroys this relationship."

Khalid said the shooting could have been caused from stress or because Hasan was often discriminated against.

"Just because he had a Muslim name, they call him a terrorist," he said.

Khalid said there was a second shooting the next day at Orlando, but the religion of the shooter is unknown.

"I think it's hypocritical that they did not mention his religion," he said. "I hope [both men] are punished, but that their religion is not mentioned."

The MSA has organized events to educate the community and make them aware of the Muslim community in Ball State University and Muncie.

But students from the MSA still have to endure stares.

Faruq Abdurrasheed-Wagner, event coordinator of MSA, said he has been victim of insults from non-Muslim members of the community, even before the shooting.

"I've had various insults when walking down the street," he said. "I've had junior high kids doing the insults."

After the attack at Fort Hood, there will be more insults, Abdurrasheed-Wagner said.

Khalid, however, said he did not expect discrimination from the community.

"The majority of people here are open-minded," he said. "And when discrimination happens, we should speak up."


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