Anti-Muslim posters found at Rutgers
NEW BRUNSWICK — An anti-Muslim poster was found posted outside the Paul Robeson Cultural Center at Rutgers University.
The poster for a "Muslim-Free America" features a silhouette of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and promotes the white supremacist group American Vanguard, which put up similar posters at colleges in Texas as part of a campaign called "The Texan Offensive."
The group, which has a page on its website with 15 posters available for download with messages such as "take your country back," "we have a right to exist," and "America first, America forever," does not list a New Jersey chapter.
The poster was found Monday night and reported to Rutgers Police, who removed it and turned it over to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, according to a Rutgers-New Brunswick spokesperson.
"The contents of the flyer, which was also posted elsewhere nationwide, violates the values and ideals for which Rutgers stands. We strongly condemn this speech and are appalled that our Muslim community was targeted in this way," read a statement from Rutgers.
The Robeson Center also serves as a prayer space on the Rutgers campus.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' New Jersey chapter called for increased security for Muslim students on campus, and has noted an increase in "Islamophobic rhetoric" and anti-Muslim incidents since the November election. The Rutgers spokesperson said university police will be increasing their patrols.
"The hatred and the implicit call for genocide targeting American Muslims exhibited in this poster must not be tolerated. All Americans must be able to practice their faith and worship as they choose without fear of harassment or intimidation. The diversity of the student body at Rutgers University has long been a source of pride and inspiration, and the University administration must not allow narrow-minded bigots to tarnish its reputation and intimidate its students," CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues said.
Fliers promoting a KKK event were found earlier in the week in Cinnaminson, Maple Shade and Moorestown. Cinnaminson Police spokesman Lt. Tim Young said at the time that "it almost appears as if they were thrown out of a vehicle," and that there did not appear to be anyone directly targeted by the messages.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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