The Fresno State Ethics Center hosted its first Anti-Muslim, Anti-Arab Discrimination and Civil Rights panel Thursday evening in the University Business Center to discuss the civil rights and discriminatory stereotypes aimed toward Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans.
The panel included guest speakers from several Fresno State organizations such as the Palestine Freedom Project and the Muslim Student Association as well as public organizations such as the Masjid Fresno and the California Middle Eastern Foundation.
Panelist Dr. Sheikh Ramadan, a graduate from Al-Azhar University in Egypt with a degree in Islamic Studies, focused his discussion on educating listeners about the the Islamic religion.
“Islam means peaceful submission and surrender to the will of the Almighty God,” Ramadan said. “Which means, as Muslims, we do not worship anyone or anything besides Allah, the Almighty God.”
Ramadan also stressed the importance of respecting one’s parents, especially the mother.
“Commentators have discussed why the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, mentioned the mother three times and the father only one time,” Ramadan said. “This has nothing to do with the position of the mother or the father. Both of them have to be respected. Both of them have to be honored.”
Ramadan said the reason why the prophet mentions the mother three times and the father once is because, “the mother suffered three times: delivering him; nursing him; and taking care of him. The father is also parent to the baby.”
Listeners were offered perspective from Ramadan’s testimony – in addition to the others who took the stage – on the discrimination faced by Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans as well as understanding how to stop the stigma.