In this time of “Islamophobia,” a panel discussion at UCSB this month will address spikes in distrust and discrimination against Muslims, as evidenced by airport security increases and the dispute over Park51 (sometimes called the “Ground Zero Mosque”).

The panel is comprised of five graduate students, whose discussion will be moderated by Communcations Professor Walid Afifi. Two of the students will talk about their experience of being Muslim in the United States, while others will discuss histories of profiling, discrimination, and criminalization of other targeted groups. Panelists are Elliott Bazzano and Sophaira Siddiqui, graduate students in the Department of Religious Studies; Eddy F. Alarez, who is in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies; Reginald Archer, from the Department of Geography; and Lily Anne Y. Welty, graduate student in the History Department. They will all share personal accounts as well as discuss the dissimilarity between their own self-perceptions, and others’ perceptions of and reactions to them.

The hopefully eye-opening discussion will consider the breadth of Islam in all aspects of life, according to event organizers. The event’s purpose is to increase awareness of current issues and to show how inaccurate perceptions can be harmful.


“Religious and Racial Profiling of Muslims Today” takes place Thursday, January 27, 6:30 pm, in the MCC Lounge.


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