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University Of Minnesota Students Vote Against 9/11 Ceremony Out Of Fear Of Islamophobia

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On Nov. 10, the undergraduate student government at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) voted against a resolution to hold an annual ceremony marking the anniversary of the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks, citing concerns about the ceremony inciting Islamophobia.

The resolution was proposed by Theo Menon, the representative for the College Republicans (CRs) at UMN, the Minnesota Republican reported. According to the resolution, the college currently has no "official recognition" of 9/11, so it would be appropriate start a tradition next year, the Star Tribune noted.

The Minnesota Students Association (MSA), however, disagreed with the proposal.

“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe,” MSA representative David Algadi said at the forum to discuss the resolution, according to the Minnesota Republican.

“Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well," he added.

The proposal was then voted down 36 to 23, with three people abstaining.

The students who voted down the resolution were quickly met with harsh criticism on social media.

“Are we allowed to publicly, on campus, mourn for Paris or would that be too offensive to some?” one Facebook user wrote on the MSA's Facebook page.

“Absolutely despicable,” another wrote. “You should be ashamed of yourselves.”

The university, who supported the resolution, later released a statement responding to what they described as “a great deal of confusion” over the vote. 

“Following the vote, the students decided to take a step back and ensure that any 9/11 resolution that is passed includes the detail necessary to successfully implement a worthy form of recognition on campus,” Vice Provost Danita Brown Young said in the statement, according to the Star Tribune.

“The maturity to want a more comprehensive resolution should be applauded, and we hope that others will take a moment to understand the entire situation before attacking the actions of our students," she added.

Sources: Minnesota Republic, Star Tribune, Minnesota Student Association/Facebook

Photo credit: iStock via Washington Post, Bala Sivakumar/Flickr

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