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WATCH: UW students protest against Muslim hate after racist letter sent to student group


Friday March 29, 2024





SEATTLE - Dozens of students marched through the University of Washington in Seattle to take a stand against Muslim harassment.

Thursday’s demonstration followed a hateful letter recently sent to the UW Somali Student Association. The discriminatory language sparked a call to action for several students.

"Seeing hate towards Muslims, especially in a heightened time of other Muslims suffering in other countries like Palestine, it’s kind of heartbreaking to see," said one student, who kept her identity private for her safety.

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During the demonstration, some students said they had experienced hate on campus because of their religion. They claimed the university had been slow to show them support.

"The fact that we have to hold protests like this, to bring awareness, is indicative of how much the university is doing. I think we need to push them a little more to make sure they know that we’re not feeling as supported as we should," said a second student.

The students said they were worried about being targeted if they revealed their identity. Their fear comes days after hate mail was sent to the UW Somali Student Association, telling the students "to go back to whatever s--thole you came from," and "we do not need Muslims, antisemites, terrorists, or communists here at UW."

"It was disappointing to see, because UW prides itself on inclusion, having everyone feel safe on campus. So, the fact that someone was able to send that letter and then attack a group of students for parts of their identity and their beliefs, that was very frustrating," said a third student. "I guess I would have never expected us to get that kind of letter."

As they called on university administration during the rally for better support of the Muslim community, they said the hurtful letter would not defeat them.

"The letter, there was a lot of hateful discriminatory rhetoric and so that can make a student feel maybe ashamed of their identity, ashamed of being Muslim on campus. But we wanted to do this protest to let them know there’s a lot of people that support you and your identity and wants you to live freely," said the first student.

UW officials said campus police and local law enforcement were investigating the letter, further stating there is no place for harassment or discrimination at the university. During the demonstration, the students said they wanted UW leaders to prove it and stand with them.

"We want to tell them that it’s not OK to be silent, and we want them to speak up and provide protection for students on campus. Not just some students, but all students," said the first student.



 





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