Non-Muslim students formed a protective circle.
According to Nusayba Tabbah, the internal vice president of the school's Muslim Students' Association, this was not an isolated event, but rather, an acceleration of an anti-Muslim climate on campus.
MSA program committee member Rami Ebrahim suggested the group gather to pray one of their five daily prayers, ishaa, in public. In doing so, the community would be making a powerful statement, letting those who seek to antagonize them know that they will not be bullied into hiding who they are and what they believe.
A few non-Muslim friends were asked to circle around the group during the prayer as a show of solidarity. What they got was so much more.
"It reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for," she continued. "We are part of an amazing community that has repeatedly spoken out about the growing hostility towards Muslims and other minorities."
"We must not stand silent while facing expressions of bigotry, discrimination or hate that have become part of our national political discourse,” wrote school president Mark Schlissel in an email to students.
Right now, more than any other time in recent history, we must stand on the side of acceptance; we must stand against bigotry. The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate crimes and hate groups, has found the uptick in hate crimes to be greater in the current post-election landscape than even in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Since Election Day, the group has logged more than 400 events of harassment and intimidation.
For one, it's important to educate yourselves and to help educate others. Tabbah recommends getting to know your Muslim neighbors, noting that many people who fear or hate Muslims simply don't know any.
Just as important: We can't let this type of bigotry and harassment become the accepted norm.
"We can't let ourselves become desensitized to hateful rhetoric because that just normalizes it."