News

Islamophobia teach-in to be held Feb. 25
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: February 10, 2016

Portland State University will hold a teach-in focusing on Islamophobia and the consequences of xenophobia on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in room 001 of the Academic and Student Recreation Center.

It will be led by a panel of speakers who will share personal stories and guide a discussion about the consequences of fear, bias and hate. It will explore the role of the government, media, education system and the consequences of policies and laws targeting certain groups.

The teach-in was organized in response to anti-Islamic actions and rhetoric throughout the country and at the PSU campus. President Wim Wiewel said the entire PSU community is welcome to attend this event.

“I want to pledge my commitment to our Muslim students, some of whom expressed their concerns at campus forums about feeling marginalized and isolated,” he said.

“I too am disturbed by the stereotyping and scapegoating that has characterized some of the national political discourse we have been hearing recently. We are doing all we can to make Portland State a safe and welcoming place, and we do not tolerate racial, ethnic, religious or any form of discrimination at PSU.”

Here are some campus resources and support services:

  • The Muslim Student Association (MSAPSU) is a long-established group to promote Islamic awareness and create an environment where Muslims can feel comfortable practicing their faith. It holds a weekly Friday prayer event, which is typically attended by about 300 Muslims and non-Muslims and open to everyone.
  • All students have access to the Quiet Prayer and Meditation Lounge in room O47 in Smith Memorial Student Union. It’s open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Students also have access to the Multicultural Student Center. It offers programs and events, including those focused on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
  • PSU is home to hundreds of international students from predominantly Muslim countries. Our international students receive immigration advising, information on religious and cultural resources in the Portland area and the services of an international student life team, which offers advice on housing, finances, relationships and other issues.
  • The Middle East Studies Center, in collaboration with other departments, also provides programs for the Muslim community, including an orientation session for Middle Eastern and North African students, a session on how to cope with classes and workload during Ramadan and free monthly public events to discuss current events in the Mideast.

In addition, the offices of Global Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources are drafting a religious accommodations policy intended to ensure that faculty and staff create and maintain a culture that strives toward deepening respect and understanding of religious differences. The draft is being reviewed by academic departments and employee unions.

University officials advise students who experience discrimination to contact the Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion at 503-725-5919. If it involves another student, contact the Dean of Student Life at 503-725-5341.

Please help us promote this event by displaying this poster in your departments.