Last weekend’s shooting of three Palestinian college students who were visiting family in Vermont returns us to the terrible truth that Islamophobia is all too present in America, and we have seen increased reports on our campuses. As we acknowledge and address the fear that our students are experiencing, it is important to denounce all forms of Islamophobia present in our community.
The shootings came as hate and violence increase against individuals from Palestinian and other Arab communities. The increase in reported attacks nationally marks another painful moment in what is becoming a long history of misidentification and violence in America. And it only compounds rising antisemitism in America, all of which are horribly misguided reactions to the Israel-Hamas war.
To the Palestinian communities at George Mason University, I offer this: Mason is also your home. You ARE supported here, as all students are supported. Every student’s safety and sense of belonging are of utmost importance to Mason, and yours is no different. As I have outlined in my previous messages, our personnel are on watch to ensure everyone’s security and well-being. All students have a right to pursue what you came here to do: simply to learn, live, and grow to your fullest potential.
The following Mason support resources exist to help those who may experience violence, harassment, or other inappropriate behavior:
· TimelyCare for behavioral health support
· Title IX
As always, if you are being threatened or attacked please reach out to the Mason Police.