SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A San Diego State University student has made national headlines by calling on a campus Muslim group to condemn terrorism.
Brandon Jones, President of the College Republicans, recently sent a letter to the Muslim Student Association on campus, asking them to condemn the recent terror attack in Barcelona. The attack on August 17 killed 13 people and injured at least 130, when a van plowed through a crowd on Las Ramblas, a popular pedestrian walk in the heart of Barcelona.
“Basically, we’re just asking them to condemn the acts of radical Islamic terrorism that happened on campus,” said Jones. “It’s their responsibility to come out and sort of say, 'Hey, look, this type of violence, this type of activity -- this is not OK.'”
In the letter sent the day of the attack, Jones quoted the Muslim Student Association’s mission statement, which states the group is dedicated to creating a sense of community and inclusive environment for all students on campus.
“Unfortunately, until radical Islamic terrorism is disavowed by the Muslim Student Organization at SDSU, we cannot move forward in creating an inclusive environment for all students on campus,” Jones wrote.
He ended the letter by asking the president and executive leaders of the group to condemn the act or resign.
The Muslim Student Association has not responded to Jones' letter. FOX 5 tried to contact the association by email and on Facebook on Friday, but we have not heard back. The organization has posted the statement below on their Facebook page:
The Muslim Student Association of SDSU would like to thank all the individuals and organizations who have expressed their support for us in the past few days. We have received numerous amounts of positive messages and comments regarding the distasteful letter that was sent to us. Your kind words and willingness to stand against injustice has showed our members and Muslim students from other universities around the country that we are not alone. Despite hundreds of attempts to stifle our voice and activism, the MSA continues to be a uniting force on campus.
In light of other racist events occurring throughout our country and the world, we as the MSA would also like to express OUR support for victims of white supremacy, nationalism, and terrorism. Our solidarity is what makes us strong and we must continue to work together to make our college campus a safe place for all students.
A reminder from our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him,
Allah's Messenger said, "Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. People asked, "O Allah's Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?" The Prophet said, "By preventing him from oppressing others.
Jones told FOX 5 he knew his letter was controversial, but he didn’t expect it to cause such an uproar.
“It hit quarter of a million people on Facebook alone. It started off with the Union Tribune, and then from there it went to Fox News,” he said.
On Friday morning, Jones appeared as a guest on Fox News morning show, "Fox & Friends." He said he has received mostly negative reactions locally, but since the story went national, the tide have turned.
“It’s been interesting,” said Jones. “There’s a lot of people who have reached from all parts of the country and even in the Muslim community who have reached out and said you guys are doing the right thing.”
The university issued the following statement:
San Diego State University takes seriously the well-being and safety of all our students, faculty, and staff. When alerted to any safety concerns from our campus community, university representatives have standard guidelines and procedures to proactively reach out to individuals and/or groups to discuss their safety and provide guidance as well as support. We take threats of violence directed at any San Diego State University community members earnestly and campus police are currently assessing the situation.