I’m guilty, I was skimming the paper as I was walking across campus yesterday morning — I almost fell off the curb as I came across the “paid advertisement” for Flame on the bottom right of page three — informing me that I “deserve a factual look at The Muslim Immigrant Question.” More of a short essay than the average advertisement, it goes on to offer “the facts” and openly questions how “we” should respond to Muslim immigrants.
Frankly, if we are to “respond” to them as we have others throughout our history (Irish, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, to name a few), our immigrant Muslim sisters and brothers have quite the challenge ahead of them. But the intent of this letter is not to respond to the content of the ad, rather I take issue with the posting of the ad itself.
CSUF is a state-run university that, as I have been led to believe, prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness; evidenced by the numerous quotes, postings, articles and initiatives on various platforms by our president, administration, staff and faculty, as well as the Daily Titan team. Just a couple of months ago, I remember reading a wonderful DT article regarding our Muslim Student Association’s outreach efforts on TitanWalk. That is one reason why it was so alarming for me to come across this anti-Muslim rhetoric in our school newspaper. It is demonizing, divisive and in my opinion contributes to xenophobic attitudes so prevalent in today’s society. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a Muslim student and to see this in our school newspaper.
My initial response was to send an email — it was sent to ads at the Daily Titan, editor-in-chief of the Daily Titan, as well as news at the Daily Titan. A few hours later I received a cordial response from the DT’s director of advertising advising me that I could respond “directly to the nonprofit organization or through a letter to the editor.” I found this to be a curious reply; why would the director of advertising redirect my complaint regarding an advertisement? I do not ever remember seeing a ‘letter to the editor’ regarding an advertisement posted in the DT in the time I have been attending, confirmed by a review of two years’ of letters to the editor archived on DT’s website. Is this protocol?
Nevertheless, I do wish to express my objection to, and distaste for, the posting of this ad. As an institution that prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness, there is no place for divisive, vilifying rhetoric such as this on our campus. I do not wish to see this ad run again. Thank you.