Students protest Afghanistan war

Image: Students protest Afghanistan war::

Image: Students protest Afghanistan war::

Greg Kane

A small group of students and faculty gathered on the Sacramento State campus Nov. 7 to protest the United States military strikes on Afghanistan.

About 15 participants from the Muslim Student Association and MEChA, holding signs with anti-war messages such as “No 2 War” and “An (eye) for an (eye) makes da (world) blind,” joined the protest. MEChA representative Veronica Lerma, who helped organize the event, said she wanted students to understand the struggles Afghanistan has faced, which American media haven?t focused on.

“There are a lot of historical perspectives that aren?t being brought out right now,” Lerma said.

A number of Muslim students participated in the protest. Junior Kadafi Mohamad said he wanted students to know that while he and other Muslim students were against the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington perpetrated by Muslim terrorists, he is equally opposed to way the U.S. government chose to react.

“To bomb Afghanistan is wrong,” Mohamad said. “We don?t condone the violence that happened on Sept. 11, but we think it?s wrong to start bombing innocent people.”

Graduate student Benazir Bath said she was protesting to inform people about the civilian lives which have reportedly been taken since military action was taken more than a month ago.

“In Afghanistan, there are a lot of people dying,” Bath said.Part of the reason many Americans aren?t aware of the effect the war is having on the people of Afghanistan is the way it is being reported in the media, Bath said.

“I think CNN and other news stations are very biased toward the American military,” Bath said.

Senior Dave Urman said he doesn?t think the toll U.S. military action is taking on the Afghan people does any justice to the Americans who died in the September attacks.

“Every day we?re out there bombing and killing innocent people (who are) no different from the victims killed in the World Trade Center,” Urman said. “I think two wrongs don?t make a right.”

Instead of bombing its enemies, the United States could take a look at its policies with foreign countries in order to avoid future terrorist incidents, Urman said.

“I think we could be dealing with the whole world in a very different way that would not inspire acts of terrorism like what happened (in September),” Urman said.

Social Work Professor Arline Prigoff, who represented the Sacramento Call for Peace Coalition at the protest, said she teaches about conflict resolution and cycles of violence in her classes, and that those lessons need to be applied with the current crisis. Her group is calling for a non-military response to the Sept. 11 attacks, and opposes “the killing of any more innocent people to resolve this and other international conflicts.”