In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
In this time of war, the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at Virginia Commonwealth University joins our fellow Americans in praying for a swift conclusion to the conflict in Iraq. As President Bush has stated, war is indeed never a desirable outcome; we thus pray for a minimal loss of life and sound return of our armed forces.
The MSA, however, does not feel that military action against Iraq is justified. Furthermore, such a war is contrary to American interests. It will only serve to promote yet more anti-Americanism and acts of terrorism against us. Waging a war without U.N. legitimacy will give the impression to the world that we are a country that has no respect for multilateral institutions or international law. The MSA is especially concerned that this war will lead to the unwarranted deaths of U.S. soldiers and scores of Iraqi civilians who have already suffered from years of war and crippling sanctions.
Muslims both at VCU and around the country are also troubled that in the cover of war, the Bush Administration will further clamp down on civil liberties. Muslims, unfortunately, are becoming more and more targets of hate; we thus are increasingly worried about maintaining our civil liberties and constitutional rights.
As aforementioned, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of hate crimes and violent acts against Muslims in the United States. American Muslims have repeatedly been subjected to profiling and abuse. Even now, the FBI is predicting an increase in hate crimes against Arabs, Muslims and people of various ethnicities. There is no such thing as a “typical” Muslim; we come from all races, all nations and all backgrounds.
We would like to remind our fellow citizens that among the men and women serving in the armed forces today are Muslims. It is our hope that in this time of war, Americans will remember the ideals and standards of our great country, one where all men and women are afforded equal rights, respect and dignity.
The Muslim Students’ Association is dedicated to promoting a discourse of peace, justice and forgiveness for all humans. We pray that the painful lessons of war and violence lead to better relations between humans of all faiths, races and ethnic groups.
God bless America and God bless humanity.
Peace be with you,
Muslim Students’ Association at VCU