CONNECTICUT - United by grief and anger, dozens of Yale students rose up Thursday, April 5, against discrimination and racism, hosting a Hoodies and Hijabs day in protest of the murder of Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi.
Being discriminated against for wearing certain types of clothing, or coming from certain religious or racial backgrounds is unacceptable, the announcement by the Yale Muslim Students Association, cited by Yale Daily News, read.
The event was held to protest the killing of Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, who was found unconscious on March 21 in the living room of their home in El Cajon in San Diego County.
Three days later, she was declared dead after taking her off life support.
Police said that hate crime was an option after an apparently xenophobic note was found beside the body of the Iraqi mother.
Considering other options, hate crime remained the highest possibility considered by community activists who pointed to a history of violence and intimidation toward the local Muslim community.
Yale students also rallied on behalf of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager who was shot on Feb. 26
Trayvon, an unarmed black Miami teenager who donned a hoodie, was shot to death more than a month ago by George Zimmerman, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford.
Zimmerman told police he fired in self defense. He has not been charged.
Organizers urged students to wear either a hoodie or hijab a Muslim headscarf or both to protest discrimination based on an individual's clothing.
According to the organizers' announcement about the campaign, Martin's hoodie and Alawadi's hijab had factored into their murders.
We want to help spread the word on campus to both honor Trayvon and Shaima's lives, and to send a loud and clear message, Yale Muslim Students Association announcement added.
Miles away, Muslims in Dearborn braved heavy rains and a thunderstorm to gather in front of City Hall to protest the murder of Alawadi and Trayvon.
Honestly, this was a tragic incident that took place not just for the Iraqi or even Muslim communities, for every community it is a shame, young demonstrator Ali Al Najjar told The Arab American News portal.
The same killer of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed while wearing a hoodie by a neighborhood watch member in a Florida incident that many have called racial profiling-related is the killer of Shaima.
Protesters also asked for more attention to Alawadi's murder which President Barack Obama failed to mention, focusing only on the Trayvon case.
Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbala Center in Dearborn, which held a vigil for her a few days earlier, said he wants to make sure the case is thoroughly investigated and stays in the hearts and minds of the public so that justice can be served.
He led the crowd in chants of, America believes in human rights and Shaima and Trayvon are the same, the only difference is the name.
Nationwide 'Hoodies and Hijabs' rallies have been held over the past weeks protesting the death of Alawadi and Trayvon.
The murder of Alawadi has also sparked a Facebook campaign in which scores of women are posting their pictures donning hijab.
The Facebook page, called "One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi," gathered 14,758 members.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net