North Texas Daily

Muslim Student Association seeking donations for Syrian refugees

Muslim Student Association seeking donations for Syrian refugees

December 03
03:23 2015

Chelsea Watkins | Staff Writer

@chelloo

The Muslim Student Association is making efforts to raise funds for Syrian refugees who have become displaced during the domination of the Islamic State group.

The student association recently cancelled its henna fundraiser event because of a lack of volunteers, but plan on rescheduling the event for the spring semester.

The debate on whether to allow Syrian refugees into the United States has intensified following the Paris terror attacks in November. The reluctance to admit refugees into the country came, partially, from fear of a similar Paris attack occurring within our country’s border.

Meryum Ijazi, MSA public relations chair, said denying refugees entrance into the country takes away their chance at finding peace.

“[ISIS] wants them to stay under their power, but the refugees are desperately trying to escape,” Ijazi said. “We should look past the labels and welcome those in need. They should not be denied their right to live in peace and dignity.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in a coalition of legislators around the country, has refused to allow refugees into Texas. In his formal letter to President Obama, Abbott expressed apprehension about the refugee admission process, saying people wanting to attack the United States could be admitted with other people fleeing the Islamic State. Abbott further cited the recent attack, also claimed to be an act by ISIS, at a Mohammed drawing contest in Garland.

Critics of Abbott’s stance have pointed out that the state’s denial doesn’t mean they will be able to refuse refugees, as the decision lies in the hands of the federal government.

Ijazi believes that no one dislikes ISIS more than Muslims because they have guised themselves under the Muslim identity and manipulated the Islamic beliefs to stand for something not representative of the religion.

“What people need to understand is that after these attacks, fear exists within Muslims too,” she said. “Muslims are also afraid of their attacks, since they are frequently attacking the Muslims all over the world.”

The Syrian refugee crisis has persisted for some time as civil war has affected the nation since 2011. During this conflict, ISIS began to rise and advance in power in the country. There are currently more than four million Syrian refugees, half of them adolescents, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

“A lot of these families are broken and children are traumatized from the conditions they are facing,” Ijazi said. “Christian refugees or Muslim refugees, they are all trying to escape for freedom and a chance to live in peace.”

MSA meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Wooten 222 during the semester, but the room is subject to change for the spring. Membership is open to people of all beliefs.

Featured Image: Saba Shaikh yells “come get a henna tattoo,” to raise money for the UNT Muslim Student Association earlier this semester in Library Mall. Eline De Bruijn | Staff Writer

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