Islamophobia Found Lurking in Harvard’s Halls

March 8, 2006

Source: The Crimson

On March 8, 2006 The Crimson reported, "Recent attacks against Muslims on the Harvard campus have not been directly perpetrated by students, [but] Islamophobia exists in less overt forms at Harvard. Many Muslim students have experienced moments when they said they have felt surprised or offended by others’ assumptions about followers of Islam... [In 2005], The Harvard Salient published the now-famous anti-Islamic Danish cartoons. Associate Dean of Harvard College Judith H. Kidd responded with an e-mail to the conservative biweekly warning that 'some segments of the campus and surrounding communities may be sufficiently upset by the publication of the cartoons that they may become dangerous.' She later apologized... In the spring of 2002, Zayed M. Yasin ’02, former president of the Harvard Islamic Society, planned to give a speech at Commencement titled, 'Of Faith and Citizenship: My American Jihad'... Yasin’s proposed address was met with criticism from a group of students who were concerned that the word 'Jihad' would be too offensive to students and family who had lost loved ones in the September 11th attacks... The Commencement committee supported Yasin, and he delivered the speech at the ceremony despite protests... Last week, [in order to combat some of the misunderstandings about Islam on Harvard's campus] the Harvard Islamic Society (HIS) worked to open up... personal dialogue by coordinating 'Islam Awareness Week.' The organization hosted activities such as an 'Ask-a-Muslim' table in Loker Commons, prayer services at Lowell Lecture Hall, and discussion groups."