UC student senator’s Muslim costume causes controversy

NEW YORK (JTA) — Leaders of Muslim student groups at the University of California, San Diego, are upset after a photo of a student senator dressed in Muslim garb circulated on the Internet.

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Student Senator Ashton Cohen took a photograph at a campus party dressed in a robe and head-covering, with three women whom a caption identified as his “three wives,” according to the UCSD Guardian. Now, leaders of the Muslim Student Union and Arab Student Union, and Students for Justice in Palestine are admonishing him for “Islamophobia.”

“I was offended and disgusted that someone would think that’s OK to wear to a party,” Students for Justice in Palestine and Arab Student Union President Noor El-Annan told the Guardian.

But Cohen said that the photo was not racist. He has not taken it off Facebook.

“I was surprised that they went through these sorts of extremes,” he told the Guardian.

According to the Guardian, El-Annan did not call for Cohen’s resignation, though he met with university administrators yesterday. Cohen was an opponent of a resolution calling for his school’s divestment from Israel this year, which did not pass the student Senate.

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