Muslim Student Under Fire After Social Justice Parody

Ben Smith Contributor
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A conservative journalist at the University of Michigan is crying foul after writing a satirical piece mocking the out-of-control liberal narrative of privilege on campus. After writing the piece for the conservative Michigan Review, the author is being forced to choose between The Review or The Michigan Daily, the school paper.

In a Facebook post on the conservative journal’s page, the author, Omar Mahmood, claimed The Daily was forcing him to choose between The Daily or The Review.

Omar Mahmood tells of his suspension from The Daily Michigan. (Photo: Facebook)

Omar Mahmood tells of his suspension from The Daily Michigan. (Photo: Facebook)

The article is a satirical piece on micro-aggression and how left-handed students are discriminated against in the social justice movement on campus. One line from the piece puts his parody is perspective, “The biggest obstacle to equality today is our barbaric attitude toward people of left-handydnyss. It’s a tragedy that I, a member of the left-handed community, had little to no idea of the atrocious persecution that we are dealt every day by institutions that are deeply embedded in society.”

The Daily Caller reached out to Omar to get his reaction to the controversy. “I was notified last week, I think it was the day after I posted it on Facebook,” Mahmood told TheDC. “I only had just begun writing for The Review.” Mahmood, now a junior, has been writing for The Daily since his freshman year.

“When I first came to campus, I was desperate to find a conservative group, but I finally saw a table for a right-leaning political group and joined,” he said after signing up with Young American’s for Liberty. Mahmood treated YAL as an escape from what he believes to be an extremely overbearing liberal presence on campus.

After the column began making the rounds on Facebook, Mahmood recalls receiving a phone call from his editor concerning his parody. The editor claimed someone registered a complaint saying his article made them feel threatened, and his column created a “hostile working environment.” Mahmood claims that without the ability to face his accuser, he has been suspended from the paper and forced to choose, in five days, between resigning from The Daily or The Review.

Mahmood made his decision clear, “I love The Daily,” he told TheDC. “I want to take a stand for what I believe.” When asked how staying with The Daily would be taking a stand, Mahmood said they were trying to force him to write a public apology, “which I will not do.” Mahmood claims. “It was a joint decision by the editors of the opinion page and arts page,” the sections he writes for, to suspend him. Mahmood also claims he is not very political, “I’m an essayist,” and that he enjoys writing more about art.

Mahmood, a Muslim, doesn’t expect much support from the Muslim Student Association, and lambasted them for their lack of support, claiming they “weren’t religious but mostly activists caught up in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” (BDS) against Israel. After this article and the following controversy, Mahmood said he felt “ostracized,” from a community where most of his friends are. “I feel that as a Muslim student on campus with conservative views, I am targeted.”

TheDC also reached out to The Michigan Daily for comment, but they did return the request.