Muslim Association, Gay-Straight Alliance react to Trump-Pence win

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By Joshua Rosario | Published Dec. 11, 2016

A member from Kean University’s Muslim Association said she was verbally attacked off campus after Donald Trump’s presidential win on Nov. 8, while students from the Gay-Straight Alliance fear what the next four years has in store for them.

In the days following the election results, members from the Muslim Association said they received an anonymous act of kindness, too.

“Just to remind you,” read an anonymous note left under door of their space in room 442 in the Center for Academic Success Building. “We want you here. You are all loved no matter who is president.”

President-elect Trump made controversial statements about Muslims during his campaign, calling for a complete shutdown of all Muslims entering the United States. Trump suggested he would revise his ban to target countries connected to terrorism instead of focusing on the religion as a criteria, The Los Angeles Times reported. 

The day after the election, Muslim Association Vice President Najiba Syed said she was harassed by a man while she was on a train home and talking to her husband on her cellphone.

“Some African American guy, he was drunk and yelling at me, ‘Your time is over in this country!’” Syed said. “That didn’t scare me because, wearing a hijab in this country, I’m used to all the looks and whatnot. But for my husband it’s like what happened, it was a new thing for him. So to tell him it will be okay, don’t worry about it, that was a challenge.”

Syed said that same night her husband asked her to not wear the hijab.  She told him, “You can’t say that, if we give into their fear they won.”

Kean is an ethnically diverse campus. About 18 percent of Kean’s undergraduate population are black, 24 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are Asian, according to institutional research from the university reported this semester. About 34 percent are white, while “multirace” accounted for about 2 percent of the student population and about 7 percent were not reported.

The president of Kean University’s Gay-Straight Alliance, which is known as Equality for All, said her fear isn’t Trump, but Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

“He’s the one that wants to really destroy us and put us in these conversion therapy camps,” said Equality for All President Lindsay Brody.

In the beginning of the semester, it was decided that the group would not discuss the election. At the group’s last meeting in the Center of Academic Success room 310 on Nov. 17, they discussed how to be an ally.

Trump, in a “60 Minutes” interview, has said that the Supreme Court’s ruling which legalized gay marriage last year is “settled” and that he’s “fine with that.”

As former governor of Indiana, Pence has opposed gay marriage, supported conversion therapy, and approved legislation that would jail lesbian or gay couples who apply for marriage licenses. As a former U.S. representative, he opposed legislation that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace, saying that the law would infringe upon religious freedom, reported.

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