by Sherif

The heated Facebook post read "The racism and islamophobia at the University of Toronto is so real. Last week a group of white students at St. Michael's college threw a party where they mocked Muslims."

In these tense times with Trump causing a rise in Muslim hate crimes, most Muslims are worried about that secret hate creeping in the recesses of every person's mind that has perhaps been "turned on" like a switch with the recent election. 

The headline is familiar, predictable, and almost desired so that the enemy might be known - but UofT students?!  I thought half of the school was Muslim anyways right? In combination with the images of what appears to be a privileged white girl dancing while inserting "muslim" into Kanye West lyrics and reading "Islam for dummies" on a couch, music blaring in the background, some serious engagement occurred. On one Facebook post that hit my feed, there were 1500 likes, 900+ shares, and 283+ comments!!! Back in my Social Media Manager days this would've been great results even for a large billion dollar company. Check it out:

Ok did we overreact? 

I was expecting maybe some Quran burning, maybe some Team America jokes, like "derka derka Muhammad Jihad Muhammad Jihad" or maybe a good old fashion ripping the hijab off of a girl's head, but what I got was a girl, possibly inebriated, ok probably inebriated, singing "you'll be my Muslim boy, my Muslim boy" to a brown girl in a circle of friends. And whether that brown girl was Pakistani or Indian, Muslim, Hindu or Christian, she clearly looked like she was new to the party scene and perhaps new to the possibilities of dating in UofT's diverse environment. Who is this Muslim boy they were singing about? Dying to know.

To understand the statement more, maybe we have to look at the original song that they're talking about which is American Boy by Kanye West. "Take me to New York I'd love to see LA. I really want to, come kick it with you, you'll be my American boy, American booyyyy" - the song is about dating an American boy as a girl from another region, the UK. To me, this song is essentially the rap version of A whole new world from Disney's Aladdin. Dating the foreign is exciting, isn't it? What was the context? Was Sara Gonsalves teasing about her or her friends dating an exotic Muslim boy?

Ok the other video was bad

The other video though... lol, of Sara reading "Islam for Dummies" while her high flying friend giggles is a bit harder to defend. lol Sorry Sara, what were you doing? 

To the Star Sara said “I was at a party having fun.” “I did not bring the book to the party. Other people checked out the book, and for some reason the focus seems to only be on me.” 

I think when you pull out a "for dummies" book and recite from it to your friends with music blaring at a party, you're looking for laughs. I went to UofT, so I really want to find an excuse for Sara here but I find it difficult. Hey who knows, maybe she was trying to learn the religion for an exotic boyfriend. Afterall she said “I actually have Muslim friends and family.”

Perhaps what's worse is what others have said in defense of Sara's actions. When did mocking religions become ok because religion is not a race? lol 

"Religion is mocked all the time, as it should be."

So what do you think, are people overreacting? 

1 Comment