Muslim students find campus welcoming

The Muslim experience in America is one that is often misunderstood, but students at the University of Detroit Mercy say that the McNichols campus is a welcoming place.

“I have never encountered any intolerance on campus,” said Zaina Azam, a junior biology major.

Outside of campus, the story can be very different.

While driving in the city of Dearborn, Zeinab Bazzi, a junior chemistry major, said an older man tried to hit her car.

 When the man caught up with Bazzi at the red light, he then proceeded to shout racial slurs, she said.

This is just one instance of the discrimination many Muslim students can face outside of campus.

Bazzi has not faced the same discrimination on campus, because of what she called a really good community at Detroit Mercy.

Safa Hahbuba a junior biology major, also feels welcomed on campus.

“It’s a place where you do not feel discriminated against or judged,” she said.

One of the ways Detroit Mercy makes Muslim students feel welcome is through a mosque located in the basement of Reno Hall where Muslim students can pray.

Although many Muslim students visit the mosque, Bazzi says many students feel comfortable enough to pray wherever they can on campus.

Although Muslim students do feel safe and welcomed on the campus of Detroit Mercy, there are some things about the religion of Islam that they feel are misunderstood.

A misconception about Muslim women is that they are forced to wear the hijab.

Hahbuba says this is not the case.

“We wear the scarf because it is our choice,” she said. “We are not being oppressed.”

Other Muslim students like Azam have a problem with how Islam is portrayed in the media.

Muslim students want non-Muslim students to know that Islam is a religion of peace.

Although they may face discrimination off campus, the women said they step into a safe and welcoming community on campus.

Even though the university does a good of enhancing the experience of Muslim students, the women said other students do an even better job of being accepting of other cultures and religions.