(JTA) — A University of San Diego professor and some of her students wore yellow star badges modeled after the ones Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust to protest Islamophobia.
Bahar Davary, an Iranian-American associate professor of theology and religious studies at the college, and her students began wearing the yellow stars with the word “Muslim” on them around campus last Thursday. She estimates that over 100 student and faculty members are now wearing the yellow stars on campus.
Davary defended her idea through a university spokesman, telling the Washington Free Beacon that the protest is “not intended to make an analogy between the current situation of Muslims in the U.S. to that of Jews in Germany and wider Europe before the Shoah.”
“This is a class/campus project to raise awareness against Islamophobia,” Davary said. “The yellow Star of David with the word Muslim written on it is a symbol that my students and I wear with utmost respect for the memory of the Jewish lives lost.”
Davary advised her students not to wear the stars outside of campus “in case the meaning is misunderstood,” the Times of San Diego reported.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the protest’s “imagery is off.”
“When we talk about the yellow star, let’s remember who instituted it,” Cooper told the Washington Free Beacon. “You had to wear it under penalty of death.”