A message from the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at Emory

Dec. 16, 2015

Sent on behalf of the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross and Dr. Isam Vaid to the Emory Community on Dec. 15:

To the Emory Community:

Emory University is a remarkably diverse community with rich ethnic, religious, cultural, and socio-economic perspectives. As an institution of higher education, Emory seeks to offer a healthy and safe environment for learning that fosters compassion for all, while cultivating open inquiry, critical thinking, and ethical engagement.
 
We live in a world, however, that often cultivates a climate of fear, suspicion, hostility, and prejudice. In recent months, discriminatory actions and speeches targeting Muslims have captured headlines. Muslims in our community and beyond experience misunderstanding, prejudice, discrimination, and alienation, and bear the burden of being vigilant and watchful. This is so despite the fact that Muslims around the world and at Emory are working to improve people’s lives as teachers, artists, business people, scholars, healthcare professionals, and public servants.
 
Like all of the world’s religions, Islam values and promotes peace and compassion.  Although acts of terror are perpetuated in the name of Islam, this is not Islam.

As a multi-religious community, Emory is committed to solidarity with all who experience oppression and marginalization. Together, we continue to enliven the spirit of democracy and embody the virtues of education that nurture global citizenship. The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life will continue to engage and support positive understanding and respect for all religious communities. Students who experience a bias incident should submit a Bias Incident Report. Additional resources that cultivate a safe and supportive environment in a confidential manner are available through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of Student Success Programs.
 
As we pause during this winter break, let us continue to  embrace our common humanity. And as we return for a new year, may we  unite in mutual support for healing and elevating our world and our community.  

Wishing you all peace,

The Rev. Bridgette Young Ross
Dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life

Dr. Isam Vaid
Emory Religious Life Scholar/Muslim Adviser