*This story is currently undergoing investigation for possible false filing of a police claim. The post was originally written based on credible sources, which is key to remember. We will update the page accordingly and until then ask that you remember the story of Ifk, be not judgmental of your brothers’ and sisters’ mistakes, and to ask Allah for help in all afairs. Please see this official MM statement on this incident*
As if the Ohio masjid gassing wasn’t enough, a Muslim sister attending Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL was attacked and threatened for her life at gunpoint. The sister was an active member of the MSA who had been on the forefront of rallying and protesting against Guantanamo Bay during this recent semester. During recent events of the MSA, the sister amongst others had been verbally abused and threatened, including a death-related threat on her locker.
This past Thursday evening, the sister was followed into a women’s restroom and assaulted by a masked gunman. The gunman struck her with his gun, leaving her unconscious on the bathroom floor. Alhumdulillah, she is still alive.
While these events may anger us or leave us in fear, it’s incredible to know exactly what this sister did. The gunman, while holding a gun to her, was reported to have asked her, “now who is going to protect you?” The sister replied, “God will protect me… You can kill me, but you cannot take my soul.”
This is incredible, subhanAllah. Imagine if you yourself were in this situation at your school or workplace. How would you react? With pure faith and trust in Allah in the heat of the most critical moment, like this sister? We can only ask Allah to make that so. It reminds us of the persecution of the Sahaba before hijra and how they held onto their iman even when, literally, their lives were at stake like this sister.
We ask you to keep this sister in your dua’s, as well as the Muslims at this campus. MuslimMatters plans to follow up with this story, perhaps with an interview of the sister. Here’s the article from the Chicago Tribune on the story.
Ill. campus tense after Muslim student reports being attack
By Gerry Smith and Russell Working
Chicago Tribune (MCT)
CHICAGO — Tensions that had been boiling at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill., spilled over this week amid reports that a Muslim student had been physically assaulted by a masked gunman.
The 19-year-old sophomore said she was hit with a gun in a bathroom in the college’s science center Thursday night, authorities said. Anti-Muslim graffiti was written on the wall, authorities said, similar to a threat written on the same student’s locker the week before that said: “Die Muslims, Rid us of your filth.”
As officials at the private college affiliated with the United Church of Christ on Friday called the incident a hate crime, hundreds of students rallied to show solidarity with their Muslim peers, who constitute about 25 of the school’s 3,300 students.
Elmhurst police are investigating, but declined to comment. Friends said the student had hired a lawyer, who did not return calls for comment.
A college spokesman said authorities have not found any witnesses of the attacker, who was described by the woman as a 5-foot-8 male wearing a mask and gloves.
The woman’s father said Friday that she said the gunman asked her: ” ‘Now who is going to protect you?’ ” He said his daughter replied: ” ‘God will protect me. . . . You can kill me, but you cannot take my soul.’ ”
Students have reported tensions on campus since students held a Sept. 18 rally to protest the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and several witnesses reported that three female Muslim students, including the woman who reported the attack, were harassed and verbally threatened.
Since then, “it’s all kind of spiraled out of control,” said Soofia Ahmed, president of the Muslim Students Association.
After students were outraged by the graffiti on the woman’s locker, they staged a second rally Thursday, and the woman read a poem she had written about the events. Afterward, she said she was attacked.
“This is a blow against our entire community,” Elmhurst College President Alan Ray told students at Friday’s rally.
Carly Notorangelo, a friend of the woman, said she received a text message from her at 8:47 p.m. that said: “Emergency,” and referenced the Schaible Science Center.
Notorangelo said she found her friend lying face down, unconscious with her glasses knocked off. There was no blood, she said. She called campus security and 911.
Another friend of the woman said she sought treatment at an area hospital.
Ray said the college is beefing up security, including foot and car patrols by Elmhurst police and campus security offering to escort Muslim students around the campus.
(c) 2008, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.