Saturday, March 24, 2007

Walid speaks about oppression at university

Kalamazoo Gazette

Oppression ingrained in some youth

Saturday, March 24, 2007

By John Liberty 388-8579

Dawud Walid quoted a passage from the Quran to deliver his speech's point on social justice: Oppression is worse than murder.

Walid, who is the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, was the keynote speaker Friday at the eighth semi-annual event called ``Social Justice in Islam,'' organized by the Western Michigan University student organization the Muslim Students Association and held in the Bernhard Center.

Walid, who lives in Detroit, addressed the more than 400 Muslims and non-Muslims in attendance by frequently reciting from the Quran in Arabic and then translating the meaning of the passages into English. He stressed Islam's teaching about oppression and gave examples of how it harms the psyche of people for generations. He cited the shooting of a mosque on the 1700 block of East Main Street in late February as a local example. Members of the mosque said there is an ongoing problem with violence and drug activity in the area.

``This oppression has ingrained itself in some of our youth through a lack of, not only self esteem, but generations of going through inferior educational systems, not having access to certain economic opportunities,'' Walid said. ``It has taken certain people within the African-American community outside of their human excellence or outside of the vision of how productive human beings should live within a civilized society. And it's hard to break out of. This is why oppression is worse than murder.''

He said oppression is still being felt around the world, including by Palestinians. Oppression is one reason for civil unrest, he said.(MORE)

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