The South Asian Law Students Association, in partnership with other organizations at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, invited CAIR-Chicago Deputy Director Sufyan Sohel and ACLU of IL Director of Communications and Public Policy, Ed Yohnka, to speak on rising Islamophobia and hate crimes following the 2016 Presidential election. Sohel highlighted the rise of Islamophobia in the U.S. and shared statistics illustrating the rise in hate speech, incidents, and acts following the election. He and Yohnka discussed the impact of hate against marginalized communities and the importance of collaboration and coalition building amongst various marginalized groups.
Several law students asked questions about hate faced by the Muslim American community, some shared personal anecdotes of discrimination that they faced, and all were curious to how they could get involved and what they could do. Sohel thanked the full room of law students for taking the first step and attending this dialogue. He added, “As soon to be lawyers, you are privileged in your understanding of the law. You have a voice; use it! Show up, stand up, use your powers of persuasion, build new relationships, talk to people whom you may never had talked to before. Stand by all communities – no matter how different they may be from you – and be ready to advocate for the basic principle that no individual or group should face hate or fear for their security.”