The University of Southern Maine is investigating an “anti-Muslim statement” that was written on a poster in Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland campus. USM President Glenn Cummings wrote in an email sent Wednesday to the USM community that the “disgraceful” statement written on a safety poster, said “Kill the Muslin,” misspelling the word Muslim.
Portland Press Herald “I cannot begin to tell you how this strikes at the heart of everything we are trying to accomplish here as a place where everyone feels welcome and safe,” Cummings wrote. “I am personally sickened by this and apologize to our many Muslim students whose presence on our campus and contributions to our university I could not value more.
We do not know who the perpetrator is, but are making every effort to find out and take action to the full extent of USM policies and Maine law. I expect that anyone who can furnish any information on the incident will come forward and do so.”
It was the second instance of anti-Muslim graffiti at USM this academic year. In November, USM officials reported that the Latin phrase “Deus Vult” or “God Wills It” had been written on a desk and a wall at the Woodbury Campus Center, according to student leaders.
The phrase was used as a rallying cry for Christians during the Crusades (who were fighting back the Muslim invasion of Europe) in medieval times, and more recently has been adopted by the alt-right white nationalist political movement as an anti-Muslim insult. At the time, Cummings and others criticized the graffiti.
“This is not the first incident of such behavior on our campus this year,” Cummings wrote in the email sent Wednesday. “I truly wish I could assure you it will be the last. But while we can not control the behavior of every single person who finds their way onto our campus, I can assure you our approach is that even one incident is too many and will not be tolerated.”
Hamdia Ahmed, a USM student and advocate for the Muslim and immigrant community, wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday that the statement is a “hate crime.” “I am completely disgusted by this,” Ahmed wrote.
Protests broke out on campus in February after state Rep. Larry Lockman was invited by a conservative student group to speak about immigration. Lockman gave a speech opposing Muslim refugees in Maine, saying they were using public funds that should be reserved for citizens, and also posed a threat to the U.S.
But most liberal universities in America seem to have no problem with anti-Jewish posters on campus:
FLIERS recently hung at the University of Illinois at Chicago declare “Ending White Privilege Starts With Ending Jewish Privilege.” While the fliers did not identify the student or organization responsible, they did include various hashtags: #BlackLivesMatter, #WeAreAllMuslims, #WhitePrivilege and #StandwithPalestine.
But that wasn’t the only one: More anti-Semitic fliers were found posted on campus over one weekend. One linked the de-hiring of Professor Steven Salaita with then-Chancellor Phyllis Wise’s meeting with “a wealthy Jewish Donor in Chicago.”
A third criticized jail time for those who deny the Holocaust.
Still another flier equated Auschwitz with Gaza, claiming the “largest Concentration Camp in the world today is owned and operated by Zionists.”