Signs promoting Islam Awareness week torn down on Tempe campus

The Muslim Students Association relies upon all its own marketing materials — including its signs promoting Islam Awareness Week, which someone recently tore down and threw away. 

Club members were finishing their promotion of Islam Awareness Week by putting up the remainder of their signs around campus to encourage other Sun Devils to get involved. The event is a week-long program that features events such as mosque tours and panels on Islam. 

When the club's vice president, Anisa Abdul-Quadir, visited a spot where she had previously put signs, she noticed they were missing.

“We noticed that a bunch of them were torn off,” Abdul-Quadir said. “The posters we found were stuffed in some garbage cans nearby.”

Abdul-Quadir noticed a pattern, every time the club put the posters up, someone tore them down. She said the signs were an expensive investment for the club and it was a lot of work to put the signs up. 

The signs cost the club around $650 to design and print.

“It was just a little alarming that someone was so diligently tearing them down,” Abdul-Quadir said.

Abdul-Quadir credited Tempe Undergraduate Student Government with not only having helped with the majority of MSA's funding and marketing for Islam Awareness Week, but also for continuing to stand by when MSA's signs were being taken down.

“We didn’t expect anything because they were so kind and supportive," Abdul-Quadir said. “We don’t want to play the victimization route. It’s just a reminder we have to work harder.”

Justice studies senior and MSA outreach director Saadh Monawar said the incident wasn’t a major issue for the organization and wouldn’t put a stop to the work they do on campus.

“I would argue it wasn’t as strong of a deal that people are making it out to be,” Monawar said. “It wasn’t one of the major issues that were affecting us.”

Monawar applauded USG senators Aundrea DeGravina and Jacob Lille for their efforts in assisting MSA with Islam Awareness Week.

“They both said they would be more willing to assist us,” Monawar said.

Lille first heard about the incident when MSA president Sarah Syed posted about the situation on Facebook.

Lille said he was very disappointed that an action occurred like this at ASU during such a positive week for the community.

“Any act that is directed towards a religion, culture or minority group is terrible,” Lille said. “Those actions have no place at ASU. I condemn them 100 percent.”

Lille said he had developed a relationship with MSA long before the situation occurred and continues to stand by MSA through this incident. He hopes there will be a way to reimburse MSA for their signs that were torn down.

“When this came up, I saw the post and I was so disappointed,” Lille said. “I actually let USG know about the situation. We helped advertise for Islam Awareness Week by sharing posts and we put all their signs back up.”

Related links:

Muslim ASU students concerned for safety after Chapel Hill shootings

ASU students from different faiths remember men killed in Indiana

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