The Diversity Committee and the MA in Clinical Psychology Program sponsored “Islamic Extremism and its Impact on the American Psyche” on October 27, 2017. This event was a continued conversation on Muslim Voices. Drs. Layla Jilood and Zari Hedayat moderated a discussion following the showing of the CNN special: Why Do They Hate Us?
There was plenty of positive feedback from the attendees following the event. One attendee commented on how they were grateful that AULA provided the opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to learn about Islam in a peaceful, non-intimidating, and inviting fashion.
Another attendee mentioned a story in Greg Morgenson’s book, “Three Cups of Tea,” about an Afghani elder chief stating that in Islam, the first time we greet a newcomer, they are a guest, the second time, they are a friend, and the third, they are family. To go along with that story, another attendee stated how they are starting to feel more like family as they engage in more conversations about the religion they were born into.
During the discussion portion of the event, one attendee asked “What can I do about this? I don’t want to leave here without having some sense of how I can make an impact,” to which Zari responded, “You are doing something by being here.” She then continued to say that the only thing that can change bigotry, racism, and homophobia is familiarity. “The more you all realize that you have Muslim neighbors, coworkers, and friends, the less they will be a ‘stranger’ to you.”