November 9, 2018 (3:53 PM)

2 min read

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“Don’t be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Althea Dannia Esmael, SALAM’s former Internal Vice-President and Project Coordinator of Salaam Movement as she discussed casual racism against Muslims last Wednesday, activity period, at the university’s F213. Photo by Julien Jame Apale

“Do not get comfortable in being uncomfortable.”

These were the words of Muslim youth leader Althea Dannia Esmael during the discussion about ‘Casual Racism’ held at room F213 last Wednesday. The initiative, titled as ‘Stop Casual Racism Against Muslims’ or SCRAM, is organized together by the Ateneo Muslim Society (SALAM), Salaam Movement, and Al-Qalam Institute,

The forum tackled a unique kind of racism which is noted for how prevalent it is in the everyday lives of Muslims everywhere. It also highlighted the common roots and the reasons why this kind of racism still exists.

Esmael noted that the main causes of casual racism revolve around curiosity, sarcasm, joke and ignorance. She also shared that casual racism still exists due to the lack of recognition of our actions that tend to be hurtful to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

“We are not recognizing that there is an actual problem and again do not be comfortable with being uncomfortable… In the end of the day, we, as a person, must consider the feelings of those in the receiving end,” emphasized Esmael.

SALAM advocate Hamim Ladiasan Lim echoed the same sentiments during an interview and hopes that people should consider how their actions and words affect others.

“Casual racism is not an issue that people commonly address. This is due to the lack of awareness of the issue itself. It often comes in a form of joke. This is something that Muslims, and even non-Muslims, experience in their daily lives. This issue must not be treated as casual as it appears to be.”

Lim also wishes that this awareness campaign will reach different groups.

“This advocacy primarily aims to raise awareness regarding the issue within the Schools, Universities, and Colleges in Davao City. We also aim to influence the behavior of our Muslims and non-Muslims brothers and sisters. Most importantly, we want to promote peaceful coexistence,” Lim added.

During a break, Ms. Jehanna Taganas and Mr. Rehan Macugar both gave the audience a moving spoken-word poetry titled “Hanggang Kailan Kami Magpapaliwanag” which focused on the everyday struggles of Muslims everywhere due to being judged and shunned by people.

Graduates and students from both the Senior High School and College level attended the event and were able to ask questions during the open forum portion of the talk.



End the silence of the gagged!

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