(BALTIMORE, MD, 9/7/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned hate symbols and language discovered on the University of Maryland campus in College Park.
According to police, authorities are investigating after students reported discovering a Nazi swastika and anti-LGBT messages scrawled on whiteboards located in dorms in multiple buildings.
Earlier this year, under intense pressure to act, university officials announced plans to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus. In a statement, they said:
“UMD is committed to creating a campus free from hate, one where our community feels physically safe and safe to be who they are. The university has undertaken many actions to accomplish these goals, and significant work is still underway.”
“While we applaud this action plan as an important step in the right direction, clearly more needs to be done to address these incidents and discourage the proliferation of hate and intolerance at our schools and universities,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “All students should feel safe and included in our educational institutions, regardless of their identity.”
Classes for the Fall 2018 semester began Aug. 27. Already this year, CAIR has condemned several instances of bias-motivated incidents and hate symbols discovered on school property and college campuses across the state. The organization has previously denounced numerous hate incidents specifically at University of Maryland.
CAIR has condemned a disturbing pattern of racist, anti-Black incidents at public schools over the past two years in Anne Arundel County, including:
- an AP class essay written by a student suggesting extermination of the Black race
- a racist petition circulated by “Kool Kids Klan” – a thinly veiled reference to the KKK
- swastikas and racial slurs discovered on school property
- nooses hung on school property
The civil rights organization welcomed Maryland lawmakers’ efforts to strengthen hate crime laws in the state.
Students, parents and educators are encouraged to familiarize themselves on their rights in institutions of learning, and to contact appropriate authorities and civil rights organization if they feel that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
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