(BALTIMORE, MD, 5/31/17) — The Maryland Outreach Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed news that University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has outlined new anti-hate initiatives after the on-campus murder of a Bowie State University student in a suspected hate crime.
Earlier this month, a few days before he was set to graduate, 23-year-old Richard Collins III of Calvert County was fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack by suspect Sean Christopher Urbanski, who has ties to a white supremacist groups.
The plan of action announced by Loh, which was to go into effect immediately, reportedly includes the following steps:
- Establishing a hate-bias and campus safety task force composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni to review relevant policies and procedures. That task force will then submit a report with recommendations and guidelines;
- Creating a rapid-response team composed of faculty, staff and students to provide support for victims of hate-bias incidents;
- Allocating $100,000 in supplemental funds to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for supporting diversity and inclusion efforts;
- Production of an annual report on all campus hate-bias incidents;
- Asking the university’s Athletic Council to consider ways to strengthen intercollegiate athletics policy to prohibit hate-bias symbols or actions in any venue.
More actions are expected to be announced as the task force is appointed and issues its recommendations.
“All institutions of learning have an obligation to make sure students are safe and comfortable on their campuses,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “While more should have been done sooner to address the rising level of intolerance at University of Maryland, we see these measures as a step in the right direction and encourage other educational institutions to follow suit.”
Chaudry noted another incident this month in which two men charged with sneaking onto the roof of a Maryland Middle School and hanging a noose have now been charged with hate crimes.
Recently, CAIR condemned the planned cross-burning by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on Saturday in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
CAIR chapters in other states have similarly condemned rising bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups.
CAIR recently released a report showing a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2016 over the previous year. This spike in anti-Muslim incidents was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period.
The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR’s 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.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-971-6062