“It’s getting worse:” Students in Oak Creek hope education will put an end to hatred against Muslims

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OAK CREEK -- American Muslims appear to be facing a perfect storm of hate. Ever since the Paris attacks, carried out by extremists hiding behind religion, hate has poured out against peaceful, law-abiding Americans who practice Islam. Then came San Bernardino, and after it anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Trump campaign, and a steady stream of hateful incidents came rolling in. It has prompted local students to push for education about the Muslim faith and its members.

In recent weeks, we have seen examples of anti-Muslim sentiments on both nationally and locally.

Some are hoping education and awareness can help put an end to it.

Janan Najeeb speaks at MATC Oak Creek for Peace Teach-In on Islam

Janan Najeeb speaks at MATC Oak Creek for Peace Teach-In on Islam

Students packed into a lecture hall at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in Oak Creek Wednesday, December 9th to listen to Janan Najeeb speak.

Najeeb, president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition worked to spread a message she believes all of America needs to hear.

"The level of hatred and the level of vitriol that's being presented on the airwaves is just reaching unprecedented proportions and it's making a lot of people fearful," Najeeb said.

There has been a lot of controversy this week, after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced he is calling for a ban on Muslims coming into the United States.

And on Tuesday, December 8th, FOX6 News found an anti-Muslim sign posted inside a grocery store in Oak Creek.

Note at grocery store in Oak Creek

Note at grocery store in Oak Creek

"I think it's getting worse -- especially since Donald Trump is getting so much airtime. It is absolutely affecting a lot of students," Mai McCarthy said.

Mai McCarthy

Mai McCarthy

McCarthy is co-founder of the Student Union Movement, and helped organize Wednesday's "Peace Teach-In on Islam" event.

"We absolutely need to see more events like this. I think education is how we're going to make things change," McCarthy said.

Najeeb says she sees a lot of misinformation about the Muslim community and the Islamic faith -- and there's a need for people like her, to help set things straight.

Janan Najeeb speaks at MATC Oak Creek for Peace Teach-In on Islam

Janan Najeeb speaks at MATC Oak Creek for Peace Teach-In on Islam

"What concerns me more is really not people like Donald Trump who I think are just using this ridiculous kind of rhetoric just to hype himself up. What concerns me more are the hundreds of thousands that are showing up to applaud him," Najeeb said.

Najeeb says she hopes there will be more educational events like this in conjunction with area universities and congregations in the future.