Fight Against Islamophobia Continues at Tandon Rally

Jemima McEvoy, Natasha Roy
Tandon’s Muslim Student Association gathered at the Brooklyn campus to speak out against intolerance on campus.

The Muslim Students Association at NYU continued fighting against Islamophobia during their rally at the Tandon School of Engineering on Tuesday evening. Using the same hashtag, #NotOnOurCampus, from their event last week on the Washington Square campus, the MSA held the rally in an attempt to continue the dialogue that started in the wake of the vandalization of the Tandon prayer room.

Around 100 people attended the rally in the Pfizer Auditorium, fewer attendees than those who went to the event in Kimmel.

Various leaders in engineering organizations represented different races and sexual orientations, such as Out in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, the National Society of Black Engineers and American Blacks in Energy.

Those who attended also came from a diverse range of religious backgrounds, such as Christian chaplain Jason Casper, who serves as a program administrator at the Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life.

CAS senior and MSA president Afraz Khan helped organize the Kimmel rally last week, and he performed a spoken-word poem at the Tandon rally on Tuesday.

Khan said that as the MSA had more time to plan the Tandon rally, it allowed for a more diverse group of speakers and made the experience more impactful for the attendees.

“Even though there is a vandalism against the Muslim Students Association, you heard people tonight talking about undocumented immigrants, people in the queer community, people who are international or black,” Khan said. “It reminded me that we have a lot more in common with people who we don’t normally interact with.”

Tandon freshman Sanbir Rahman, who identifies as Muslim, said that he was outraged when he first heard that someone graffitied “Trump!” on the Tandon prayer room.

“Throughout the entire day I was just bummed out,” Rahman said. “I didn’t feel like going to some of my classes because I was emotionally charged.”

He said that attending the rally helped give him hope and drive to move forward.

“I feel like after this rally, people have gotten the message that we’re going to stand together, no matter what injustice happens here,” Rahman said. “I feel like hopefully, as long as people don’t do similar things like what happened in the last week, things will ease up eventually.”

Tandon freshman Shawn Kshatriya attended the rally to show solidarity with the Muslim community at Tandon, even though he does not identify as a Muslim.

“I was really interested, because when I heard about the writing on the door, I was really outraged and I thought it was just not okay,” Kshatriya said. “As a community, we should really support each other because if you support others, then they’ll support you.”

He thought that with the recent events surrounding the election and subsequent rallies, it would be nice to attend this rally as a show of support.

Khan said it is unfortunate that a time of tribulation was the unifying factor for such a divisive time, but that it was encouraging how many people came out to support the large number of Muslim students at Tandon.

“It’s funny how at Tandon you technically have a lot more Muslim students, proportionally speaking, than you do at the Washington Square campus, but I think the culture there at Tandon works differently, because with these sorts of events, not as many people come out to them,” Khan said. “Making some sort of an effort to bring people together stands out so much more, like ‘wow Tandon has never done stuff like this before.’ So it’s pretty big that that is happening now.”

Email Jemima McEvoy and Natasha Roy at [email protected] 

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