ASU grads: University racially profiled us

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An op-ed piece written by ASU President Crow about international students included a picture that had three Americans in it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) An op-ed piece written by ASU President Crow about international students included a picture that had three Americans in it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"It's offensive because especially in today's current political climate, it's one that is trying to erase the Arab and Muslim identity as Americans," Nshwah Ahmed said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "It's offensive because especially in today's current political climate, it's one that is trying to erase the Arab and Muslim identity as Americans," Nshwah Ahmed said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The picture was later replaced with this one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The picture was later replaced with this one. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A trio of ASU graduates and American citizens were offended after the university included a photo of them in an op-ed piece about international students. 

"It was kind of shocking 'cause I was like this can't be real," Nshwah Ahmed said.

In the photo, the three friends can be seen snapping a selfie at their graduation last May. Ahmed was wearing a hijab.

"It's offensive because especially in today's current political climate, it's one that is trying to erase the Arab and Muslim identity as Americans," she said.

The op-ed was written by ASU President Michael Crow and it ran in the Christian Science Monitor. It was about the importance of inviting foreign students to study in the U.S.

He made reference to the current administration's travel ban saying, "It's important to recognize how significant the impact may be on international students studying here and the institutions that both educate and depend on them."

"By trying to seem accepting they went ahead and racially profiled us and it came off as more racist than anything," said Ahmed.

She shared the article and photo on Facebook. It did catch the attention of President Crow, who responded to her post saying, "Thanks for bringing this to my attention. We apologize for this error and will see that it is corrected as soon as possible."

ASU sent this statement in response to the error.

"Over the weekend, the ASU media relations team made a mistake related to the international students op-ed that Dr. Crow wrote. In our search for a compelling image on a tight deadline to go along with Dr. Crow’s op-ed we passed along a picture to the publisher without doing enough due diligence on the people featured in it. There is no excuse for the error, and apologies have been issued to the alumnae in the picture."

The photo was changed shortly after the university was alerted to their mistake.

Ahmed says she appreciated the quick response but feels this only fuels the current and divisive political climate. 

"By implying that, oh, because you look a certain way you're international or not American, it's saying you can't be Muslim and Arab and American at the same time," Ahmed said.

Ultimately, she says someone should be held accountable and she wants to ensure this never happens again. 

Right now, she says they are looking at their legal options.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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