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The Shia Muslim Foundation is deeply concerned and condemning of the recent anti-Shia incident at the University of Connecticut. On Monday, February 7, 2022, the university distributed turbahs, which are pieces of clay that Shia Muslims use during prayer, to the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut and the wellness and meditation space in Homer Babbidge Library, the two main prayer areas on campus for Muslim students. The turbahs were donations from Iraq. However, the next day, the Ahlul Bayt Student Association at UConn, an organization for Shia Muslim students, discovered that the turbahs at the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut had been vandalized and thrown out.


According to the president of the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, Safina Bibi, this is not the first time that anti-Shia incidents have occurred at the University of Connecticut. Bibi stated, "There’s been years of anti-Shia rhetoric that has occurred at the ICUC… I’ve always heard stories about how the ICUC has not been welcoming to Shias.” The Ahlul Bayt Student Association released a statement condemning the incident and calling for a formal apology and accountability for the responsible individuals.


In response, the University of Connecticut’s Muslim Student Association released a statement clarifying that the individuals responsible for the vandalism were not students or members of the Muslim Student Association, nor were they affiliated with the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board. The Muslim Student Association also condemned the incident and stated, "REGARDLESS OF THE REASONING, THAT INDIVIDUAL HAD NO RIGHT TO DESTROY THE PROPERTY OF SHIA STUDENTS." The Muslim Student Association also claimed that the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board had expressed apologies to the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, offering to pay for the turbahs and meet with them regarding their concerns. However, the Ahlul Bayt Student Association stated that they never received a direct apology and that the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board has not followed through on meeting with them.


The Shia Muslim Foundation strongly condemns any form of anti-Shia hatred and calls for a thorough investigation into this incident. We stand in solidarity with Shia Muslims at the University of Connecticut and urge all parties involved to work towards promoting a culture of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among followers of different religions and ways of thinking.

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