Order unsettles Muslim students

Muslim students attending a unity vigil at Detroit Mercy last week expressed disappointment over President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and suspending travel from seven mostly Muslim countries.

Chemistry major Zeinab Bazzi, a junior, said that even though her homeland is not on the list she is afraid to travel to Lebanon to see her sick mother.

“I don’t want to leave and then not be able to come back,” she said.

Bazzi said that though she had never planned on applying for U.S. citizenship, she feels that it might be necessary so she can finish school.

Student Mohamed Kazbour has a best friend whose uncle and grandfather may not be able to return to the U.S. if they leave because they have visas.

Kazbour said that his mosque and such organizations as the NAACP and Care Michigan have been working together to help those affected.

Student Abdulkareem Harunani does not know anyone personally impacted by the ban, but he said he does know what it is like to be harassed for being Muslim.

During these trying times, Harunani and Kazbour see a positive opportunity. They believe this is the perfect time to combat stereotypes of Muslims.

“One thing we can do to get around this right now is to show people who we really are,” said Harunani.

Added Kazbour: “Through your actions and your character … you make people change.”

Harunani and Kazbour are Muslim Student Association board members at Detroit Mercy. In times of adversity, they said, it is important to stay positive and stick together.

Both Kazbour and Harunani said they learned in their mosque how powerful love is compared to hate.

“Combatting hate with hate never works,” said Kazbour. “Even when people show hate, you combat it with love and it can change people’s lives.”