Gettysburg College Muslim Solidarity Rally draws hundreds for dance and celebration


Photo courtesy of San Khai Luc.

By Daniella Snyder, Editor-in-Chief

Over 300 students, faculty members, and community members joined together on the steps on Penn Hall in solidarity with Muslim members of campus and the town in response to Robert Spencer’s lecture in the CUB ballroom Wednesday evening.

Green ribbons were distributed for people to wear to show their support, along with green fabric donning the phrase, “Hate has no home here”, and “No Islamophobia”.

Jerome Clarke, ’17, welcomed everyone to the event. “When there are those that are suffering, we stand. We are out here to celebrate and love each other,” Clarke said. Clarke introduced the Nawaz Brothers, a Qawwali band, to perform.

Qawwali is a type of Sufi devotional music that originated over 700 years ago in South Asia.

One of the band members addressed the crowd. “We are family. We must rise. We must stick together,” he said.

After a few songs, Chaplain Donnella spoke to the group on the importance of interfaith solidarity. “We are here because we are human,” he said. Donnella concluded by quoting Desmond Tutu, a South African social rights activist and former Anglican bishop.

“Goodness is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies. We will prevail. We shall prevail through God, who loves us,” he said.

Donnella then introduced Rev. Dr. Kristin Johnston Largen, who will be a chaplain at Gettysburg College starting this July. “To be clear,” she said, “the goal of interfaith friendship is about celebrating and protecting them, cherishing their uniqueness. We are stronger together, because we are different. Those differences make us beautiful, as individuals and as a community,” she said.

“We are first and foremost part of the great human family. Our call is to be light to the world. We have been blessed to be a blessing to others,” Largen concluded.

The Nawaz Brothers started playing music again. This time, students stood up and began to dance in front of Penn Hall. Faculty members began to join in, and even President Janet Morgan Riggs danced in the crowd.

Riggs explained her reasoning for attending the Muslim Solidarity Rally. “I wanted to support the Muslim members of our community and because I feel very proud of the students who organized the event. This is a great way to show how the community can come together and support each other, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she said.

The dancing continued for thirty minutes, and the crowd cheered throughout. Students expressed positive sentiments about the event, considering it a true celebration.
Jeff White, ’17, while dancing in the crowd, said, “I am overjoyed. This is true joy. I feel genuine appreciation for everyone here,” White said.

rally crowd photo

Photo courtesy of Khun Minn Ohn.

Haya Mohanna, ’17, reflected on being a Muslim student at the Solidarity Rally. “Between the event on Sunday and the event today, I could cry. I didn’t expect people to take the time to come out and support us. It warms my heart, and gives me hope about the future of this campus,” Mohanna said.

Caroline Kinne, ’19, the media representative for the event, expressed her joy for the turnout of the event. “I am really excited that there are so many people here to support the Muslim community. This is about showing peace and solidarity, not anything else. To our Muslim students and faculty members, please know that we are with you,” Kinne said.

To conclude the event, two students called for everyone to hold hands for a moment of silence.

Laila Mufty, ‘18, one of the organizers of the event, thanked the crowd for coming. “While state troopers and borough police bombarded this campus today, it made my day easier knowing that you all stood in support with me. Thank you for the peace and love,” Mufty said.

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  1. What a joke! You’re all ignorant and brainwashed little kids. You support Islam no matter how many murderous atrocities (Jihads) it perpetrates worldwide. You don’t know anything about Islam. The “hate” is Islam, Ms. Editor-in-Chief. There’s no such thing as “islamophobia,” a fraudulent word cooked-up by Muslims to muzzle and silence criticism of Islam. And you’ve all fallen for it, like the professional imbecile Todd Green. You don’t deserve Spencer as a guest speaker. You’re incapable of appreciating him and his knowledge about Islam. What you deserve, befitting your low intelligence level, is professional morons like Todd Green who can brainwash you even more than you already are. You sound like members of a totalitarian cult. How are things in la-la land? Got your unicorn ponies?

    Hey Jerome: The “Infidels” are suffering. The Moslems have been mass-murdering us since the resurgence of Islam on September 11, 2001. You know why OBL chose the date of 9/11? After Quran 9:111 which exhorts Muslims to “Slay [the unbelievers] and be slain in Allah’s cause.” Maybe you’ve noticed?? We can’t even travel safely to Europe anymore due to Islam and its Jihadist adherents. Yes, let’s have a moment of silence for all of the Jews and Christians mass-murdered by Muslims worldwide in our time the 21st century since 9/11.

    “No religion more deadly than Muhammed’s.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

    You dancing moonbats, including your president! You’re not worthy of Robert Spencer.

    Post a Reply
    • “You may write me down in history
      With your bitter, twisted lies,
      You may trod me in the very dirt
      But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

      Does my sassiness upset you?
      Why are you beset with gloom?
      ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
      Pumping in my living room.

      Just like moons and like suns,
      With the certainty of tides,
      Just like hopes springing high,
      Still I’ll rise.

      Did you want to see me broken?
      Bowed head and lowered eyes?
      Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
      Weakened by my soulful cries?

      Does my haughtiness offend you?
      Don’t you take it awful hard
      ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
      Diggin’ in my own backyard.

      You may shoot me with your words,
      You may cut me with your eyes,
      You may kill me with your hatefulness,
      But still, like air, I’ll rise.

      Does my sexiness upset you?
      Does it come as a surprise
      That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
      At the meeting of my thighs?

      Out of the huts of history’s shame
      I rise
      Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
      I rise
      I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
      Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

      Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
      I rise
      Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
      I rise
      Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
      I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
      I rise
      I rise
      I rise.”

      Post a Reply
      • What has that poem about enslaved African-Americans have to do with Muslims? In fact, it was Muslims who sold the black Africans to the whites. So, yours is a waste of space having nothing to do with Mohammedans and Islam. Islam still has slavery today. Boko Haram kidnaps African Christian girls for sex slavery as the Koran instructs. In Islam sex slaves are called “captives of the right hand.” Gee, your quoting a Maya Angelou poem really was relevant – NOT.

        Post a Reply
        • I note the obvious differences
          in the human family.
          Some of us are serious,
          some thrive on comedy.

          Some declare their lives are lived
          as true profundity,
          and others claim they really live
          the real reality.

          The variety of our skin tones
          can confuse, bemuse, delight,
          brown and pink and beige and purple,
          tan and blue and white.

          I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
          and stopped in every land,
          I’ve seen the wonders of the world
          not yet one common man.

          I know ten thousand women
          called Jane and Mary Jane,
          but I’ve not seen any two
          who really were the same.

          Mirror twins are different
          although their features jibe,
          and lovers think quite different thoughts
          while lying side by side.

          We love and lose in China,
          we weep on England’s moors,
          and laugh and moan in Guinea,
          and thrive on Spanish shores.

          We seek success in Finland,
          are born and die in Maine.
          In minor ways we differ,
          in major we’re the same.

          I note the obvious differences
          between each sort and type,
          but we are more alike, my friends,
          than we are unalike.

          We are more alike, my friends,
          than we are unalike.

          We are more alike, my friends,
          than we are unalike.

          Post a Reply
          • You again with your nonsense? Try commenting about Islam instead of plagiarizing poems.

          • You and your irrelevant nonsense again?

            How about not “moderating” and deleting my comments? There’s no free speech about Islam on the GC paper.

    • “Including your president”…I thought Trump was against Muslims too…

      Post a Reply
      • Trump is not against Muslims. Trump is against Jihad, warfare against non-Muslims. Such as 9/11 all the way through the most recent mass-murdering Jihads in Europe. Get the difference?

        Post a Reply
    • Sean. We must be crazy to not want to listen to the words a man who runs an organization listed as an active hate group. A man who was banned from the UK (by a conservative leaning leader, might I add) due to the unrest and the violence that has stemmed from the impact of his words.
      94% of terrorist attacks in our country are conducted by people with no affiliation to Islam.
      We must be crazy to listen to Green, a man with an actual degree and education supporting his words, over Spencer, a self-proclaimed “expert,” who does not have a formal education or degree involving Islam.
      The doctrines of violence and cruelty perpetrated by the small fraction of extremist “Muslims” is in complete opposition to established ethics of the Qur’an and Muhammad, which is practiced (peacefully) by the vast majority. Jihad means “to fight for the preservation of democracy and freedom” (Murata). More generally, it is a word that refers to any religious struggle, internal or external, experienced by a Muslim (like fasting for Ramadan). But in Islamic countries, the word jihad is used for any war. So it is misinterpreted by westerners a lot.
      Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all worship the same God. Muslims recognize this and the vast majority of Muslims recognize them and respect them. The difference is the acceptance of the final prophet Muhammad, who was sent by the same God as Christian and Jewish-recognized prophets before them. There is no inherent conflict or hate between these groups. In addition, the Qur’an states that any Muslim who injures/abuses a non-muslim will be punished when God judges them. The book asks for diversity and for Muslims to know and understand others.
      Please take a course on Islam before you speak on behalf of a group of people you know little to nothing about.

      Post a Reply
      • LM: Everything you said is 100% wrong. I pity you so enmeshed in lies and ignorance.

        Post a Reply
      • LM: Everything you said is erroneous. You’re not being taught this PC balderdash in school, are you? You should listen to Robert Spencer, read his books, visit Jihad Watch website, and educate yourself since current Jihad events aren’t doing it.

        Post a Reply
      • Tell us, what “unrest and violence” have resulted from Spencer’s words?

        Listed as a hate group, by the SPLC – tell us, what gives the SPLC licence to pin this label on others?

        94% of terrorist attacks in the US not muslim – yet, muslims are 1% or so of the total population. So only 6 times the expectation based on population, LM. And, this ignores the worldwide attacks in the name of Islam, which happen nearly every day.

        The “ethics” established in the Quran? Like, verse 9:5?

        Show us where in the Quran it states a muslim that abuses a non-muslim will be punished.

        Crazy to listen to a person with a degree over someone without one? So are you saying you need a degree to know anything, and that those who don’t have one cannot possibly know anything?

        Post a Reply
  2. How about not “moderating” and deleting my comments? The censoring GC paper when it comes to Islam.

    Post a Reply

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