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Talking about racism: Muslim Student Association addresses heavy topic

The topic of racism is often seen as something that has been resolved, something most students choose to forget about. The Muslim Student Association at Colorado State University is trying to make sure students do not forget about this issue by praying about it and hosting events to bring awareness.

In honor of February being Black History month, the CSU Muslim Student Association hosted an event to bring awareness to the issue of institutional racism Friday.


President of the Muslim Student Association at CSU Israa Eiderly organized the event to address problems regarding racism and make these issues something people are comfortable talking about and acting against.

According to Eiderly, people have been taught that talking about race is such a taboo that people avoid it.

“This is something I am passionate about,” said Courtney Pugh, a sophomore anthropology student. “I think it should definitely be easier to talk about and it’s good that awareness is being brought to it.”

The Islamic Circle of North America brought in one of their chairmen, Imam Khalid Griggs, to speak at the event. ICNA is an organization consisting of both Muslim and non-Muslim members whose mission is to bring knowledge of the Islamic culture, as well as serving the community in various ways.

“Every human being, just on the basis of being a human being, should be awarded of having the same respect,” Griggs said.

Throughout the presentation, Griggs used several cases of targeted violence as examples of institutional and individual racism. Griggs mentioned the importance of each generation finding their purpose in life and seeing if there is anything more that can be done to fulfill that.

Griggs challenged the audience to put their efforts into place with the same mindset Malcolm X had. Malcolm X lived his life fighting for equality and held a strong connection to Islam.

“Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it,” Griggs quoted from Malcolm X. “I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.”

Some of those involved with ICNA and race equality said they look up to Malcolm X for his approach to fighting racism and his respect toward others as he went about this fight.


ICNA plans on opening a chapter in Colorado so students in the area can get involved and bring awareness to racism while helping others live the best lives they can.

Collegian Reporter Danielle Jauregui can be reached at and on Twitter @DaniJ27.

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