Muslim Student Association peacefully protests conflicts in Gaza

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Friday, Aug. 1, the casualties of innocent civilians reached approximately 1,400 in Gaza.  The same day, the Muslim Student Association at Colorado State University peacefully protested and raised awareness on the corner of Mulberry Street and College Avenue.

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“Our objective today is to raise awareness of what is going on in Gaza, the displacement of Palestine,” said Khaled Alehaferi, MSA member and protestor.

According to Alehaferi, the issue no longer lies in religion, but is solely about Palestinians living freely in their homeland.

Israeli-Palestini issues date back to over half a century ago. During World War II, and shortly after, Jewish immigrants flooded the area, displacing many Palestinians from their homeland. Turmoil between the two groups is based on religious differences, land and cultural barriers.

Attacks are taking place primarily on the Gaza strip, the land separating Israel from the sea and Palestine from Israel.

“People need to understand the underlying issue that is decades old,” said MSA member Rachel Martel. “People do not need to be Muslim to see what is happening is wrong. Schools and hospitals are being bombed – innocent children.”

Dalal Alrmuny, a CSU Ph.D. candidate and Palestinian who grew up in Jordan, said the conflict is a battle to save humanity. According to Alrmuny, 60 percent of casualties are children and 80 percent are civilians.

“What is happening in Gaza right now is no different than the Holocaust,” Alrmuny said. “They are killing innocent children.”

Yasmin Bargoti, senior human development major, said a stigma surrounds Muslims living and growing up in the United States and that people use those stereotypes to assume what is happening in Gaza.

Bargoti grew up in Aurora, Colorado, where she said stereotypical names and words met the first mention of her religious affiliation. 

“Some other girls had it a lot worse than me because they cover up,” Bargoti said. “The stereotypes are immediate, whereas what happened to me happened after I opened up about my religion.” 

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CSU alumna Khadija Lake spent the fall of 2013 in Jordan. During a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, she converted to Islam.

“It was the most peaceful, warming place,” Lake said. “It is not what the media makes it out to be, but this war is half a media war and half a war on civic duty.”

Collegian Senior Reporter Josephine Bush can be reached at news@collegian.com.