(Washington, DC, 10/31/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on the University of Virginia Police Department to investigate graffiti saying â€œTerroristâ€ written outside of the door of two Muslim students as a possible hate crime. The incident occurred over the weekend at the Brown Residential College at the University of Virginia.
Following the recent hate vandalism, University of Virginia released a statement to students, which read in part:
â€œSometime yesterday afternoon or evening, an unknown individual or individuals wrote a message on the wall next to the door of two Muslim students living in Brown Residential College. The message consisted of the word â€˜terroristâ€™ with an arrow pointing to the students' door, written in lead pencil. It is our belief this graffiti was placed at this specific location to target and intimidate the residents who live in this room. As a community, we categorically reject and condemn this type of hateful message.
Upon receiving a report of this vandalism late last evening, we promptly engaged the University Police, who immediately responded. As this is now an open police investigation, we ask that you come forward if you have any information that might be helpful in identifying those responsible. You may use the Just Report It system at www.virginia.edu/justreportit/bias or the UPD nonemergency number, 434-924-7166.â€
â€œWe urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this act of vandalism as a potential hate crime, intended to intimidate Muslims students on campus, and to ensure the safety of all individuals at the university,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. â€œWe commend university officials for their prompt action.â€
CAIR is also calling on community members and students to come forward with any relevant information about the incident.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.