Letter to TU

To The University of Tulsa,

The month of February has been a hard month for a lot of students, getting ready for midterms, setting up schedules for next semester, etc. However, for many other students, their level of stress rose when President Brad Carson decided to submit a letter, without the approval of Marcom, to the students of TU. While MSA believes that no hate belongs in TU, this letter indicated otherwise — that only certain groups of students are worthy of protection from hate. MSA decided to take it upon ourselves to attempt to rectify this injustice after hearing multiple complaints. So, we spoke with the Dean of Students, Matthew Ingram, and the DEI office to show our concern for this email and to ask for them to express their support to students who are feeling threatened. We then wrote a letter and included a request to President Carson to apologize for his wording, to show support for all students, regardless of their backgrounds or affiliations, to acknowledge the situation in Palestine and let TU students know that support is here whether it is with DEI and their support groups or with CAPS and their mental and emotional support. We also included quotes from students of the university who wanted to let President Carson know how they felt regarding this letter. The letter was also signed by many other multicultural organizations, indicating that this lack of support and response by the university and President Carson to such a severe situation was felt by us all — that it far surpassed racial and religious boundaries.

After numerous attempts to get the administration to say something about five months of relentless bombing on a civilian population of 2 million confined to a small strip of land, we realized the university would not have our backs. As such, we turned to the students of TU.

When President Carson sent out his letter, students voiced their support towards Palestine, and MSA believed that this support could be shown in a survey with students sharing what they would like President Carson to know. Yet, when we sent out an anonymous survey, only a few responded. When we asked for public support from others after receiving minimal support from the university, they hid, thinking that even though they support our cause, showing it publicly should not be asked of them. This was when we began to realize that people decide to show their support because others do, and, to them, when it comes to Palestine, their support is not needed.

So, we turn to the student population again with the hope that after reading, you will realize that even though you are not physically amid this genocide, even though it is not your people facing siege, hunger, dehydration, etc., even though it is not your family that has been wiped from the civil registry, it does not mean this genocide does not affect you. There are human beings dying because Western powers believe they should be wiped out so people who “deserve” the Palestinians’ homeland can take it, and your tax dollars fund it. So, while you pay tens of thousands to attend this university, your money is paying for genocide. Knowing this and that innocent men, women and children are dying, being left alone in this world, being starved to death, does not sit right with us. Knowing the medical acronym WCNSF (Wounded Child No Surviving Family) emerged from Gaza because Israel is killing Palestinians without care for civilian lives at such an alarming rate to the degree that medical professionals had to develop an acronym to quickly inform of the fact that a child’s parents are dead. The child has no single relative left — no single person who shares their DNA, that they are the very last of their line — fills us with an emotion for which there is no English equivalent, nor can it be properly described: قَهْر (qahr).

It should not sit well with you either, yet here we are in a world where students will side with the majority, regardless of whether the majority position is immoral, to say the least. So, MSA wrote a letter to President Carson to express that we will not be silent and we are now doing the same to the student body.

We believe that instead of hiding behind anonymity and being silent in the face of adversity, it is better to let the president and the public know we will not accept the deafening silence of the president and the university.

MSA has never once asked President Carson or any administrator to pick a side when it comes to this situation — we explicitly mentioned this in our letter — but that does not mean we are okay with his silence and lack of support as we try to do what the university should have done on Oct. 8, 9, 10 or any day after Israel began its slaughter of the Palestinian people: helping others understand the truth of the Palestinian genocide.

MSA does not believe that only one form of hate should be condemned and refuses to accept genocide even when others do. This is why we and other multicultural organizations decided to write our letter to President Carson and encourage him to do the same. We hope you do as well.

If you have any questions, please scan the QR code and respond to our Google form.

We thank you for taking the time to read this letter,
The Muslim Student Association of The University of Tulsa

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