The New York Times' Fernanda Santos wrote today
about the ongoing attacks by a group of UA students against the Islamic Center of Tucson.
Santos begins her story with a Syrian refugee who, when leaving the mosque after Friday Prayer, had two cans of beer thrown toward her.
On another night at the mosque, Ahmed Meiloud, a Ph.D. candidate from Mauritania who is also the Islamic Center's president, was leaving the building when someone yelled from a passing car, "Terrorist, go back to where you came from!"
It's embarrassing and sad to read a distorted depiction of Tucson, a place that's so welcoming and open-minded, based on some of the ignorant residents attending the university—who are likely not even natives to the Old Pueblo. They remind me of the snow birds who temporarily move to Tucson a few months out of the year and do nothing but taint this beautiful desert with anger.
And, of course, it is people like myself who feel the most embarrassed about this type of national coverage of Tucson. Because, if you ask these kids, well, they don't give a damn. A world does not exist outside their boundaries made of tailgates, college sports and booty shorts.
The diverse congregation of the Islamic Center—a squat copper-domed complex just outside the University of Arizona's sprawling campus here—has endured mocking, taunts and attacks of vandalism ever since hundreds of students moved into a pair of private high-rise apartment towers next door three years ago. In at least one instance, a shower of crushed peanuts rained down on the mosque; more typically, cans and bottles are flung from apartment balconies, usually on the popular party nights of Friday and Saturday.
"Yes, there are students, usually drunken students, but these attacks aren't random," Mr. Meiloud said. "We are the target."