Morgan State hosts a dialogue on the Latino Muslim community 


Jabray Franklin

Brianna Taylor, Staff Writer

 Morgan State University presented a discussion Wednesday evening on the challenges that the Latino Muslim community face and how the use of Hip-Hop has provided a tool for protest. 

The lecture centered around how hate speech and crimes towards Latinos and Muslims have been mediated and represented in the media. Also, how that has impacted the progression of the Latino Muslim community.  

The event titled Latino Muslim Hip-Hop and the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ Thing was lectured by Harold Morales, Associate Professor and Director for the Study of Religion and Ethnicity.  

Morales began the discussion by the assertion that there are approximately 70,000-200,000 Latino Muslims reported in America, located in metropolitan areas like New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Houston. 

He encouraged the audience to broaden the mediation process, flatten the discourse of the controlled narrative, question the goals and intentions of the media of their negative portrayal of the community and be critical on how power is obtained.  

“There’s a heated discourse of Latinos being from Central America specifically and coming to the United States to take jobs and resources that don’t belong to them and wanting to hurt people through violent crimes,” said Morales. “Some of the more negative Muslim stereotypes are ones of being violent, terrorists or radicals. Often Muslim women are negatively stereotyped as being either hyper-sexed or oppressed.” 

Osaretin Aimufua, a biology major, left the seminar pleasantly surprised by how much she enjoyed the conversation. 

“I honestly enjoyed it. I can genuinely say I learned something new. [Morales] was very knowledgeable and the topic was interesting,” said Aimufua.  

According to Morales, marginalized communities in America adopt and utilize Hip-Hop as an alternative form of protest and, in doing so, they are often criticized as “enemies of the state.” 

“All human experience is in-between. Humans are complex and why have these binaries between the good versus bad Muslims developed in media practices. The voice of the marginalized people has been stripped away but through technology, power can be given back,” said Morales.