Theo Menon, a Minnesota Student Association representative realized that the university wasn’t doing anything to memorialize 9/11.
So, on October 6, he introduced an MSA proposal to asking the university to institute a “moment of recognition” during the mornings of all future September 11ths.
The resolution in no way referred to Islam or to whether Islam itself is to blame for global terrorism. It did not require anyone to contemplate the fact that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were Muslims. “It merely stated that 9/11 has had a lasting effect on many students, and ought to be reflected upon for a single moment, once a year.”
But according to the Minnesota Republic, the resolution proved oddly controversial. MSA Director of Diversity and Inclusion, David Algadi, voiced “severe criticism” of the resolution.
“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” he said. Algadi expressed concerns- in an email to the Washington Post – that efforts to recognize 9/11 are sometimes “thinly-veiled expressions of Islamophobia.”
Algadi was not the only one with this opinion. A majority of student government representatives sided with him, voting down the resolution in a 36-23 vote this month. If students had their way, there would be no moment of silence at UMN on Sept. 11, 2016.
But after the university became “inundated” with demands for a rebuke of the vote, UMN President Eric Kaler announced that he would formalize the moment of silence anyway. Kaler told the local press that he “wanted to make sure folks were aware that the U is committed to honoring the victims.”
As the writer for the Daily Beast noted: “…there are people who blame all Muslims for the actions of a radical few…we should argue against these sentiments, and we should work to end the terrible acts of revenge-violence against innocent Muslim Americans.” But he also added that Americans should still be allowed to take a “single moment out of our days to mourn the thousands of victims—Muslims among them—of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”
According to the Daily Beast, “the everything-is-offensive brand of campus activism has struck a new low.”