Northwestern Event Fights ‘Islamaphobia’

Northwestern club brings in a heavy hitter for an antixenophobia presentation.


In an effort to combat what its members call "Islamaphobia," Northwestern's Muslim-cultural Students Association brought in someone who knows a lot about the struggles that Muslims face around the world.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and a former Army chaplain at Guantánamo Bay, James Yusef Yee shared his experiences with a crowd of 300 people interested in fighting faith-based stereotypes, the Daily Northwestern reports. While working at Guantánamo Bay in 2003, Yee, a Chinese American, was imprisoned for 76 days after being accused of aiding the Taliban and al Qaeda. He called his experience a prime example of Islamaphobia.

"Profiling is a violation of national standards against racial discrimination," Yee, who is Muslim, said at the event. "It is not something that our country was founded on."

The event was designed to provoke further discussion of the sensitive topic.

"Islamophobia is a kind of xenophobia that's going on in the United States and throughout the world," Dulce Acosta-Licea, external relations vice president for McSA, tells the Daily Northwestern. "It is a lack of understanding for Muslims, this population which some people think is foreign or strange, and as a result, there are many misconceptions."

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