SPEAKING OF HATRED

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By Nahla Darkazanli

Guest Columnist

The president of the Arab Students Association recounts her experience receiving a death threat. 

After I finished class at around 6:30 on Thursday night, I walked up to the ASA office to pick up a book I left there. When I walked inside the office I saw that a letter had been slipped under the door.

Then I picked up the paper and realized it was a threatening letter. I was really nervous because I was all by myself. It was nighttime and there are not a lot of students around where our office is located.

There was no panic button to push and no phone was nearby. Luckily, I had brought my cell phone with me that day. I immediately called Ahmed Arshi (president of the Muslim Students Association).

I thought he would know what to do because he’s dealt with this before. But Ahmed didn’t answer. Next, I phoned Mohammad Abou-sweid, he’s the senior advisor for the ASA. As it turns out, he was on campus and offered to meet me and take me home.

Ahmed called me back the next day and told me the same letter had been slipped under his office door.

Together, we decided to go to Ryerson Security and give them the letters. Over the weekend, I called all of my executives to discuss how we should handle the situation. We decided to keep everything on the down low until security told us how they were going to handle the situation.

In fact, some members of my association still don’t know what happened. I thought everything was over, but I was shocked on Monday when security told us that they had to take down the sign on our door because it had been vandalized. I don’t know what happened to it, but I suspect it was similar to what happened to the Multifaith Centre.

I am very disturbed to see such actions take place on our university campus because I believe Ryerson should be a place where we have healthy discussions and open debates about our religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.

We shouldn’t be spreading hatred towards one another.

As told to Joel Wass

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