On Monday night in St. Robert's Hall, I stumbled upon three students at LMU who were putting up a poster that consisted of graphic images of Islamic extremists committing violence. The graphic had the words “never forget” placed right in the middle, which brought up some concerning questions. The poster was made in memory of 9/11, but what message are they trying to get across? Are they promoting Islamophobia or are they merely patriots expressing their freedom of speech and love for this country? If so, what does this patriotism entail for Muslim Americans? Instead of spouting my own opinion about the poster, I decided to let these students hear what fellow Lions thought of their poster.
Zach Rubin, junior philosophy major: "It's misrepresenting and demonizing the Muslim religion when this blatantly Islamophobic poster asserts that their knowledge on the religion is minuscule. They’re choosing to utilize the atrocities committed by an extremist minority without considering the welfare of innocent Muslim populations around the world to support fear mongering and further violence. What’s even richer is that conservatives like to accuse liberals of being adverse to facts when in this case, he’s ignoring the religion’s tenure. Every country does horrendous things and this portrays Americans as having been entirely innocent when they’ve killed loads of people for the sake of oil."
Alex O’Hara, senior theatre and marketing double major: “As someone whose mother was a second responder in the 9/11 attacks, I will never forget 9/11 or the pain that it caused within our country. What that being said, many of the images represented in the picture target specific groups of people and encourage hate. Hatred is corrosive and does nothing to prevent the situation from happening in the future — it only inspires more hatred and bias. It is my hope that we begin to view 9/11 as not only an unforgettable event, but as a reason to strive for kindness, love and understanding across differing cultures and perspectives.”
Amanda Ordaz, senior psychology major: "9/11 should be about healing and being grateful to the front-liners who risked and lost their lives for us all. It is a time to honor them and to come together as a nation, to remember all who lost their lives. On this day, we come together in love, not in anger or thirst for revenge. The focus should not be on those who attack."
Bethlehem Gebeyehu, freshman economics major: "It was shocking to me seeing pictures of disturbing images of the Muslim community. Upon coming to LMU I was under the impression that I would be surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals wanting to create a positive change. But a positive change cannot come if we still hold onto problematic views and hatred in our hearts. To hear that fellow Lions are spreading hate on our campus should not be tolerated and instead, we should support the Muslim community and learn how to be tolerant of one another."
This is the opinion of Alex Myers, a senior French and philosophy major from Edmond, Oklahoma. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan email comments to email@example.com.