Newsbytes: “Meet a Muslim”, Gun Advertisements, Zika Virus, and Taco Literacy

By: Staff Writers Tanushri Sundar and Chloe Velasquez 


On January 11, Fremont resident Moina Shaiq organized a meet-and-greet at Suju’s Coffee & Tea, in which she invited residents to join her for an open, casual conversation about Islam. Shaiq encouraged people to ask questions about politics and religion in order to dispel stereotypes and intolerance against the Muslim community. Over 100 people showed up to Shaiq’s event. Shaiq has held two more meet-and-greets since to keep the dialogue about Islam going.  Visit her Facebook page for more information:



As of January 29, Facebook and Instagram prohibit private gun advertisements. Businesses can still advertise guns, but gun trade between individuals is banned. With this rule, gun sales are subject to the same Facebook restrictions as illegal drugs and pharmaceuticals. The rule was put into place three weeks after President Barack Obama announced new restrictions on gun purchases such as background checks and customer transparency.  The National Rifle Association has yet to respond to Facebook’s decision.



The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency on February 1. The virus, which is transmitted by Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquitoes (which are not native to California), was detected in Brazil in May 2015 and has spread to 20 more countries in Latin America since. The virus has spread to Costa Rica and Jamaica, with cases in the US linked to travel. Concerns are rising over the virus’ possible link to microcephaly, a condition in which infants are born with unusually small heads and thus develop damaged brains. The WHO’s declaration calls for the international coordination of tracking, research, and response to the virus.



The University of Kentucky is offering a new class called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South.” The class teaches students the cultural significance of Mexican food, how to write restaurant reviews, and how to eat tacos. According to Steven Alvarez, an assistant professor from the school’s Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies Department, the class is about building social connections through food. He said toTV network VICELAND, “This class allows our students to explore the issues of immigration, inequality, workers, intercultural communication, and literacy through the prism of food.”

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