Given the opportunity to establish an annual observance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, student government at the University of Minnesota took a pass. Some students involved in the deliberation believed honoring the victims of 9/11 would foster Islamophobia. From the Washington Post:
…according to the Minnesota Republic, the student newspaper which broke the story, there was strong opposition voiced during the debate before the vote last week by David Algadi, the at-large representative to the Minnesota Students Association and its director of diversity and inclusion. He emphasized that 9/11 was a national tragedy, but warned,
“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” said Algadi, “Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”
Algadi added that holding a moment of recognition over a tragedy committed by non-white perpetrators could increase racist attitudes on campus, asking, “When will we start having moments of silence for all of the times white folks have done something terrible?”
Algadi and several other members of the student government did not immediately return messages Monday seeking comment.
The student government put out a statement claiming that the vote failed over logistical concerns about how to implement a campus-wide observance among thousands of students, faculty, and staff. College Republicans, one of whom put forward the motion which triggered the vote, claim such logistical concerns were not emphasized during debate.