For many Muslim women, doing every day tasks like walking home or running to the store can become dangerous and in some cases deadly. The fact is that a growing number of muslim women feel unsafe and the students at the Texas Muslim Student Association are trying to do what they can to change that.
The Daily Texas Online reports that on Saturday, July 15, the Texas Muslim Student Association will be partnering with several local mosques and organizations to host a free self defense class at UT for Muslim women. Texas MSA president Altamshali Hirani said the event is a response to a national increase in hate crimes against the religious group.
“We decided that self-defense classes are a need, especially because of all of the hate crimes that are happening with Muslims,” Hirani said. “We thought because with the women, some of them embrace their religion by wearing the hijab (and) they are more likely to be targeted.”
Aces Jiu Jitsu Club’s own, Professor Mikal Abdullah will be on hand, helping out with the self-defense seminar.
“I am concerned a lot of self-defense classes teach (these) conventional wisdom concepts that are not necessarily true or accurate, like ‘step on his foot,’” Professor Mikal said. “I think it sets a lot of women and smaller people up for failure.”
Hirani said Texas MSA has received multiple calls from local authorities, campus police and the Counseling and Mental Health Center to offer their services for both preventing and dealing with hate incidents.
“We are aware that this stuff can happen and might happen,” Hirani said. “We hope it doesn’t, but as members of our current society, we can’t ever rule anything out.”
Andy Gonzalez is a coach at Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. He has earned his purple belt under Professor Mikal Abdullah. Follow Andy on Twitter at @GoGoGonzilla
Andy lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Amanda and their 3 beautiful children. Andy is also the father of a Marine who is honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps.