“I found myself in deep paralysis just because it was surprising and overwhelming,” said Valarie Kaur who added that's how she felt after anti-Muslim violence began to spread across the country in the wake of the New York City mosque controversy.
“I was scared how normalized, mainstream, acceptable Islamophobia had now become,” said Kaur.
The stabbing of a Muslim cab driver to the vandalism of mosques and the latest talk of the burning of the Qurans, Kaur, a Sikh-American, realized she needed to do something.
“We think what's driving Islamophobia from the burning of the Korans to the protests of the Mosques is not bigotry or hatred but fear,” said Kaur.
So together with several classmates, the Common Ground campaign was formed. Through their website and Facebook page these students hope to get as many young people involved as possible.
“I think young people recognize the power of diversity growing up in such a diverse world,” said co-founder Matthew Matera.
They're trying to point out that the anti-Muslim backlash is not an accurate representation of this country. Students we found say young people should fight back.
“Makes me feel a lot better knowing I'm not the only one that thinks this is getting a bit crazy,” said junior Joe Bolognese.
“The only was you can combat these kinds of things is to really show you disagree with this,” said sophomore Anne Van Bruggen.
Common Ground will hold a gathering at Yale Law School on September 15th to commemorate the anniversary of the first person that was murdered in a hate crime after 9/11. They say it's just one of the many ways they hope to promote tolerance.
To find out more about the group, you can head to their website: www.commongroundcampaign.org