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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

MSA lights candles for Chapel Hill


Grinnell’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) held a candlelight vigil this past Wednesday night to honor the lives of three victims of a shooting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The purpose of the candlelight vigil was also to illuminate the significance of the deaths, which they feel has not been properly represented. The students—Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha—were shot and killed in their home by their next-door neighbor on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Vigil - Rae Kuhlman Vigil - Rae Kuhlman

“We feel that the events weren’t adequately covered by the media, and in part it is because there’s this ever-looming Islamophobia within our society,” wrote Mari Holmes ’17, a co-leader of MSA, in an email to The S&B. “Let’s be honest, if this were a white person being shot by a Muslim, we would have headlines depicting them as ‘terrorists.’ It’s just really frustrating that individuals who identify as people of color or practice the non-hegemonic religion are subjugated to these inhumane treatments.”

Overall, MSA members said that they were pleased with turnout at the vigil.

“To be honest, we didn’t think that anyone was going to show up, just because religious diversity isn’t something talked about on campus. However, in light of recent events including the Eid dinner, World Hijab Day and the Suzy Ismail talk, and Charlie Hebdo discussion on Wednesday, Grinnellians have continued to surprise us,” Holmes wrote. “When we say we are so humbled by our students’ support, we sincerely mean that. We appreciate that students are asking questions to learn more and participating in our events as a way to stand in solidarity with their Muslim peers.”

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