Seventh Demand: Islamic Studies Minor

In California on March 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

This is the text of the seventh demand that has been added to the list of demands put forward by the Public Education Coalition and referred to in our response to Chancellor Fox’s email.



MARCH 8, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

A seventh demand has been added to the list of institutional demands submitted on March 1, 2012 by a coalition of students, faculty, and workers specified in the March 1 document. As always please respond to our liaison (in the original document) before the end of the quarter.


A coalition of students, workers, and faculty at UCSD



After the events of September 11, 2001, Muslims in the nation, especially students on academic campuses, have encountered a litany of Islamophobic activities demonstrated by a wide array of hate crimes ranging from verbal attacks to physical sabotage. Islamophobic actions that Muslim students have encountered on UC San Diego campus include, but are not limited to, professors’ bias towards Muslims, written and spoken anti-Muslim rhetoric by campus personnel, UC San Diego students, as well as campus visitors, sabotaged advertising materials for Islam Awareness Week in addition to several other incidents. In 2010, intoxicated students at UC San Diego Sun God Festival assaulted a female Muslim student; pulling off her headscarf while shouting anti-Muslim pejoratives and racial slurs. Moreover, on Thursday April 4, 2011 twenty-eight UC San Diego faculty endorsed “An Open Letter to Our University Community About Troubling Hypocrisy On Our Campus” in an advertisement paid by off-campus Israel advocate organization Scholars for Peace in the Middle East in The Guardian campus newspaper. The letter falsely accused the Muslim Student Association, Arab Student Union, and Students for Justice in Palestine of anti-Jewish activities. In addition, UC San Diego Administration denied security escort to a Muslim student to University Public Relations Office despite unsafe conditions on campus due to Sun God Festival and prevalent anti-Muslim bias. These are only a few examples to a growing climate of bias against Muslims, which are unacceptable. However, the administration makes little to no effort to mitigate the situation. Muslim students continue to feel marginalized, targeted, assaulted, and above all, unsafe at UC San Diego. Therefore, an Islamic Studies Program is not only necessary, but vital in the current socio-political climate, in order to educate students of the development and diversity of Islam through courses that focus on Islamic history, religion and civilization in the pre-modern period (i.e., pre-19th century), along with courses that highlight the dynamics of modern and contemporary (i.e., 19th- 21st centuries) Muslim societies and cultures. It is disappointing that being a top tier University of California campus, which claims to embrace diversity and inclusion, UCSD is one of the few university campuses in the UC System devoid of an Islamic Studies Program. Therefore, WE DEMAND that Islamic Studies be a fully funded UCSD program which seeks to raise awareness and educate, in an unbiased fashion, the students of UCSD on the Islamic faith.

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