A religious studies professor at the University of San Diego is responding to anti-Muslim rhetoric by leading a silent protest on campus where students and faculty don yellow stars marked "Muslim."
Bahar Davary, an associate professor whose academic specialty at the Catholic university is Islam, came up with the Star of David idea during her class "Islamic Faith and Practice," the Times of San Diego reported.
"What it symbolizes is that there have been people who have been made to be the 'other' throughout history," Ms. Davary said. "By wearing these, we're simply inviting conversation about this topic."
Only students were wearing the stars at first, but then several other faculty members joined in, Ms. Davary said. She estimates there are over 100 being worn on campus, with more people asking for the stars every day, the Times of San Diego reported.
She said the Star of David is a symbol respected by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She is advising her students not to wear the stars off campus in case the meaning is misunderstood, the newspaper reported.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump sparked a global outcry recently after he proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants entering the United States. Ben Carson, his Republican rival, has also said he could not support a Muslim as president.
"It's not only Trump. It's not only Ben Carson," Ms. Davary told the Times of San Diego. "There have been anti-Muslim actions taking place. In some ways, it's frightening."
The conservative law blog, Legal Insurrection, called the star protest "the worst form of cultural appropriation."
"In Europe, Jews cannot walk the streets in many places while displaying any Jewish symbol or even traditional Jewish attire for fear of harassment by young Muslims," Legal Insurrection's William A. Jacobson argued. "The comparisons of Trump to Hitler are out of control. But this is much worse. No one misunderstands this misplaced gesture. We understand it all too well."