The PHOENIX published an article Dec. 6 titled “Religious Holidays Aren’t Represented Equally on Campus.” The story included interviews with members of Loyola’s Muslim and Hindu communities, who expressed desire to have more celebration for their religions’ holidays at Loyola. The article also showed some of these same sources describing that they too enjoyed the Christmas season.
This article sparked a flurry of responses, some outraged, others incredulous, over what readers have deemed an unfair take on the importance of Christmas at Loyola — a Jesuit Catholic university. These responses have come in a variety of ways: email, comments on social media, The PHOENIX website and Breitbart News’ retelling of the article.
The PHOENIX is open to opposing viewpoints. This article, a factual story published in our News section, is no different. One of the foremost objectives of journalism is to start conversations and give voice to different opinions. We even have an entire section devoted to the voices of the Loyola community.
But at times, articles — such as this one — are met with responses that veer into hateful, closed-minded comments that do little to further a conversation. The author of this article, Sajedah Al-Khzaleh, has been at the receiving end of expletive-filled notes, some incurring violent language and others accusing her of terrorism because of her name alone.
The PHOENIX encourages its readers to voice their opinions, even if they disagree with our own or seem awry of the central point of a straight-forward news article. But we don’t support comments that only promote hate and stifle diversity in the media — an important tenet of journalism is allowing multiple voices to be heard.
Readers, you are welcome to submit respectful, thought-out writings to our Opinion Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s easy to leave a comment over the internet, with little chance of face-to-face interaction. I encourage you to instead take a step back, go outside your comfort zones and analyze your arguments. Truly listen to the people with opinions differing from your own, and consider the strengths and weaknesses of these opinions, so you may respond with empathy rather than hate.