Muslims wonder what’s ahead: As rhetoric rises nationally, members of Harvard community ponder how to safeguard and support the rights of all — Harvard Gazette
When he was in school on Long Island, N.Y., Yaseen Eldik was just another kid. Then 9/11’s hijacked jets crashed into the twin towers, and life changed for the American-born Muslim.
“I was called a terrorist and asked if my parents belonged to al-Qaida,” Eldik said. “Because of that experience — of feeling almost like an enemy of my community — I began to feel isolated.”
In the wake of the November Paris attacks, the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., and an incessant anti-Muslim drumbeat from some U.S. presidential contenders, Eldik and other members of the Harvard Islamic community described what it’s like to live under the current wave of “Islamophobia” in America, one that Harvard Islamic Chaplain Taymullah Abdur-Rahman said has reversed years of healing since the 2001 calamities.
“There was some healing from 9/11 to now. It’s more rewarding for people to trust you than to like you,” Abdur-Rahman said. “Paris shook the campus up …. Then San Bernardino happened. There was a retreat on [the part] of Muslims.”
“We’ve reached this situation where things are very, very tense, and obviously will affect students here,” said Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
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