Muslim leader seeks fair treatment

Antonio Marquez

“We are all ultimately people at the end of the day.”

That was the message delivered by Imam Taha Hassane, who spoke at City College in recent days, and other Muslims on campus.

Hassane, the imam of the Islamic Center of San Diego, gave an overview of Islam and its practices and the history of Muslims in the United States. He stressed that Muslims share many of the concerns people have in the community, such as being able to earn enough to be able to take care of their families.

He noted that terrorist attacks carried out by extremists have given Muslims a bad name in the United States and Europe.

He urged the news media to cover Muslims fairly.

“The media has a major role in shaping the thinking of people,” he said. “If there is something wrong going on in a community, there’s nothing wrong with reporting it. But if there is something good, something positive going one, we will also like the media to report it.”

Hamid Alrawi, a City College student listening to the presentation, agreed.

“Not all Arabic and Middle Eastern people are extremist and bad,” Alrawi said. “Every country and nation (has) their bad and good people.”

Hani Hussein, vice president of the Associated Student Government, said it’s important to have presentations on campus that explore people’s religions and cultures.

“We are incredibly fortunate to be blessed with divesity at San Diego City College but with that comes a great deal of responsiblity to ensure that it is a safe and inclusive environment for everyone,” she said. “That everybody’s voice is being heard “

Hussein explained what she hoped the presentation achieved.

“We hope to educate students about Islam, to educate students about how Muslims are not inherently different from other people. We are all ultimately people at the end of the day.”