DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > The gift of DePaul’s Muslim community

The gift of DePaul’s Muslim community

Members of DePaul’s Muslim Student Association pray on the Lincoln Park Campus in 2019.
Members of DePaul’s Muslim Student Association pray on the Lincoln Park Campus in 2019. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

This week, Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, that marks the final day of the Hajj pilgrimage and commemorates the Prophet Abraham's devotion to God and his faith. We lift up Muslim members of our DePaul community and Muslims throughout the world as they pray, make sacrifices and gather with family and friends to celebrate together.

When we witness the commitment of Muslim faculty, staff and students to their faith, shared values, spirituality, service and willingness to invite others into dialogue, it invites our entire community to reflect on how our own values shape our actions and commitment to others. In the Vincentian tradition, Vincent de Paul identified sacrifice as one of the core values of his own spirituality. In his mind, through this value, we are always invited to move beyond ourselves – to give and not just to receive, to offer from the best of ourselves, even the things we love the most, as Abraham did. This value is profoundly connected with a spirit of faith in the Abrahamic traditions, and we can all celebrate this call as we acknowledge the Eid festivities in the Muslim tradition.

It also seems fitting at this time to state our unequivocal rejection of any manifestation of Islamophobia locally and worldwide. Islamophobia, the dislike of or prejudice against Islam, and individuals who are Muslims, is a negative force in the world today. According to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, over the past five years roughly 60 percent of Muslims have experienced some form of discrimination based on their faith. The harmful effects of Islamophobia are clear. According to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, in a recent report of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed said that that levels of Islamophobia around the world had reached "epidemic proportions" and that "In such climates of exclusion, fear and distrust, Muslims report that they often feel stigma, shame and a sense that they are 'suspect communities' that are being forced to bear collective responsibility for the actions of a small minority."

DePaul's value for human dignity and mutual care dictates that Islamophobia, which can generate fear, anxiety, hostility, marginalization, and physical harm, is insupportable. If students experience issues of threat, bigotry or harassment around their faith identity, they can leverage campus resources such as speaking to faculty or academic departments, the Dean of Students Office, or the Muslim Chaplain in the Division of Mission and Ministry. Faculty and staff can seek support from their managers, Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity and Human Resources.

I invite all theists to find the will of God in all that we do and to live our lives with faithfulness in the spirit of Abraham, and for our entire community to wish our Muslim siblings Eid Mubarak - have a blessed Eid.