A broad coalition of McMaster University and community groups will rally this afternoon to send a message that hate crimes will not be tolerated on campus.

The groups, which include the McMaster Muslim Students Association, are upset over anti-Islamic graffiti scrawled on the door of a professor who organized an event to help educate people about Islam.

McMaster president Dr. Peter George, who met with anti-racism advocates yesterday, has accepted an invitation to speak at the 2 p.m. rally inside the students’ centre.

He said they are anxious that McMaster remain an icon of inclusivity.

“I trust (the rally) will turn into a very positive, affirming exercise for all members of the community,” George said yesterday.

“It reminds me of the way the community came together after 9/11 when the Jewish and Muslim students associations and other groups came together to protest violence.”

“We are expecting more than 25 groups, including students, faculty and staff, coming together to take a stand against the racist attack,” said Mariam Ibrahim, a member of the Coalition against Islamophobia and Racism.

Hamilton Jewish Federation, Hamilton Council of Canadian Arabs, Hamilton Muslim Association and North American Spiritual Revival are going to issue the joint statement which will be distributed today at the rally, said Nabil Rashidi, project co-ordinator with the Hate Crimes Prevention Project in Hamilton.


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