Education

Muslim Students At GMU Start Petition To Ban ‘American Sniper’ From Campus

REUTERS/Warner Bros/Handout

Muslim students at Virginia’s largest public university launched a petition to ban the showing of “American Sniper” on campus because the film “perpetuates misleading and negative stereotypes” about Muslims and “romanticizes war” — even though the offended students haven’t even seen the film.

According to the petition created by a group of Muslim organizations at George Mason University, playing “American Sniper” on campus infringes on certain freedoms.

“This is a film that perpetuates misleading and negative stereotypes about the Muslim community that many organizations on campus work hard to dispel,” the petition reads. “Not only this, but it romanticizes war and glorifies the idea of violence. As thinking humans, we should recognize the issues of morality presented when such a film is shown on campus and sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement whose mission is to ’embrace diversity.'”

Individuals are instructed to “sign this petition to show your agreement to the showing of this movie on campus and to stop any future showings here at Mason.”

In order to clarify the goals of the petition, The Daily Caller spoke to Asra Ahmad and Sara Mojarrad, the president and vice president of GMU’s Project Nur, one of the organizations sponsoring the petition.

“We support the armed services, and we are not against them in any way, but there has to be something that inspires this kind of reaction.”

Ahmad and Mojarrad admitted that neither has watched the film. However, they still feel it could incite violence against Muslims.

“We understand that everyone in America is entitled to freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, freedom of all of that. But when a film sparks this much violence and outrage at the Muslim community — you can go on Twitter and look up the tags after ‘American Sniper’ initially came out — and it was a lot of hate comments.”

“I think at one point they shot someone with a hijab and everyone was like, ‘Yeah! Good job!’ We understand everyone can do what they want, but it’s crossing a line.”

Ahmad and Mojarrad explained they want to have a psychology professor speak about why there was “such a strong reaction to something as simple as a movie.”

Ahmad and Mojarrad also revealed they want to stop all showings of movies at GMU that could create backlash against the Muslim community in the future: “We just don’t want movies like this at Mason in the future.”

The pair have been in discussions with OSI about film selection: “We think this is important to recognize that maybe films like this should not be shown. And we just want to bring that awareness.”

The petition has been circulated around the Northern Virginia and DC Muslim communities. Currently, the petition on Google Docs has 243 signatures. In order to prevent spam, the creators of the petition have requested that individuals resign the petition using Google Forms with their GMU student numbers or email addresses.