A mass email was sent to the Pakistani students of Ohio Wesleyan University asking them to attend an FBI meeting being held at the university.
The email generated confusion and fury amongst the Muslim students enrolled at the university. Recent elections and wave of extremism which is at a high in US has already scared the Muslim community a lot therefore an email involving FBI was surely alarming.
Officials of the FBI clarified the purpose of the mail and said the sole reason of the meeting with the Pakistani community was to make them aware. Todd Lindgren, spokesman for the FBI office in Cincinnati further said it was important to brief them about the risk of radicalization.
Our idea was to try to raise awareness among students who may be traveling to Pakistan not to be victims of radicalization
A majority of the Pakistani students took exception owing to the general believes and preconceived mindsets about the FBI. Hence the seminar was cancelled, according to OWU spokes man Cole Hatcher
Some students expressed their dissatisfaction over the way the message was communicated. The university should have delivered the message personally to the students to avoid creating panic among st the students.
Our contact for immigration is through our school officials. They always have meetings and stuff before we go home. They could just tell us, ‘Hey, watch out for these people — the FBI warned us
For some students the email was shocking and scary, especially if you are living in a country where political victimization is already on a high.
Rahim, a graduating student of University of Ohio, shared his views on the entire episode
“Why wouldn’t a freshman be worried about the FBI?” Rahim asked. “It’s a scary time to be here.”
What was further disturbing was the fact that a few students were specifically sent the email, making them wonder that perhaps they are being intentionally targeted. This naturally gripped them into fear.
While a majority of the students were disturbed, some remained calm. Mohid Naseer, a junior majoring in chemistry dealt the matter with patience. Initially he was nervous but knew there was nothing to be alarmed of.
I was curious — I actually wanted to know what it was about, but everyone around me freaked out
Pakistanis living in America are already facing a lot of apprehensions and backlash, the air of negativity surrounding them is making life rather difficult, thus such reactions are naturally expected.
Will this wave of uncertainty continue or the Muslims will be able to regain their peace, only time can tell.