Society

Anti-Muslim, Pro-Trump Chalkings Hit Michigan Campus

| by Jimmy King
Students remove anti-Muslim slogans at University of MichiganStudents remove anti-Muslim slogans at University of Michigan

Anti-Islam slogans were chalked onto University of Michigan buildings allegedly next to pro-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump  slogans on April 1. 

The slogans on a university plaza included “Stop Islam,” “Build the Wall” and “Trump 2016," reports TIME.

The University was quick to denounce the slogans on its campus.

“Attacks directed toward any individual or group within our community, based on a belief or characteristic, are inconsistent with the university’s values of respect, civility and equality,” said University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel, according to TIME via The Michigan Daily student newspaper.

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The university reportedly did not remove the writing due to its commitment to freedom of expression. 

Groups of students washed the anti-Islam slogans off the plaza when the university did not take action, reports The Detroit Free Press.  However, they left the pro-Trump writing in tact.

"We specifically made it a point to not remove the chalk that was simply pro-Trump (even though we do not agree with his hateful ideas)," said student Rami Ebrahim. "We wanted to ensure that we weren't infringing on anybody's political free speech."

Ebrahim lamented the anti-Islam chalking, tweeting: “Our wonderful university! And us Muslim Students were the ones who had to clean it up in the end #stopislamphobia."

The University of Michigan said that while it respects free speech, it understands the offensive nature of the writing.

“We all understand that where speech is free it will sometimes wound," University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said. "But our message it this: we are fully committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of everyone. Tonight we are reminded there is much work yet to be done.

Still, some students expressed their disappointment that university faculty did not remove the speech from the campus.

"We were just upset that the university didn't adequately address the situation, to the point where they wouldn't send anybody to clean it up because it was after hours," Ebrahim said. "It's a systemic problem that the University hasn't paid much attention to ... addressing this type of climate created on campus."

Sources: Detroit Free Press, Michigan Daily, TIME / Photo credit: ERebrah/Twitter

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