News

Feces left at Muslim group’s door

With swastikas drawn around Columbia University earlier this month, and numerous hate crimes occurring on other college campuses this semester, the University of Miami appeared to be unscathed – until three weeks ago.

On Nov. 6, members of the Muslim Student Association came to their usual meeting place, building 21-Q in the Apartment Area, and found it desecrated. Someone had left feces on the front steps of the student’s place of meeting and prayer.

“We are considering this a hate crime because there are bathrooms around the area,” said Omar Howeedy, vice president of the Muslim Students Association. “I don’t think anyone would want to do that with a good intent.”

The students removed the feces from their meeting place immediately because “we always keep it clean out of respect,” Howeedy said. Though the students did not file a police report, they met last week with Officer John Tighe of the Coral Gables Police Department to discuss the case.

“He told us that with the evidence gone there was nothing he could do,” said Moiez Tapia, adviser to MUSA.

Although the police may not be able to investigate this particular event, the MUSA executive board plans to e-mail President Donna E. Shalala detailing the event. Their goal in sending the e-mail is to raise awareness on campus that intolerance is still alive and among us.

Dean of Students Ricardo Hall said that if any individual is found guilty, he or she may be suspended or expelled.

“My office and I take these types of incidents very seriously,” Hall said. “It is disrespectful, disgusting and uncalled for in a college campus and anywhere else.”

Howeedy said he thinks the incident may have occurred as a result of the recent Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which began Oct. 22. The week of events “highlighted the threat from the Islamic jihad, and the oppression of Muslim women,” according to the Web site terrorismawareness.org.

Although there have been no documented hate crimes on campus this semester, someone shouted, “Go home, you Islamic terrorist” to a female Muslim student in 2001, which spurred media attention and a mass e-mail to Arab and Muslim students from Shalala. The e-mail said, “You deserve our respect, and you deserve to feel safe.”

Members of the MUSA hope to use the most recent incident as a way to reach out to the UM community and encourage students to express their opinions in a respectful manner.

“It’s an unfortunate fact of life that people continue to behave this way,” Tapia said. “Tolerance is something every religion today preaches and supports, including Islam.”

Lilliam Albizu-Campos may be contacted at l.albizucampos@umiami.edu.

Hate Crimes Nationwide

 A drawing of a swastika was found on a professor’s office door at Columbia University on Nov. 1.

 Another two swastikas were scratched into a computer lab and a bathroom stall at St. Cloud State on Nov. 18.

 A noose was found hanging outside an African-American professor’s office at Teachers College, the nation’s top-ranked education school, on Oct. 9.
 Several other nooses were found attached to a T-shirt display denouncing intolerance at the Cal State Fullerton campus on Nov. 16.

 At Amherst College, five Hampshire College students who left a gay party were allegedly called names, threatened and spit at on Nov. 10.

November 29, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

As bleak as it seems now for the University of Miami, the Canes can still take a repeat trip to Char ...

A half dozen takeaways from UM’s demoralizing 16-13 loss at Virginia on Saturday: ▪ As was the case ...

So, who’s the quarterback now? The No. 16 Miami Hurricanes came to Charlottesville on Saturday with ...

Home Truth, the story of Jessica Lenahan’s pursuit of more effective domestic violence laws, screene ...

Members of the UM community who want to donate to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Mi ...

The University of Miami’s Model UN is working to expand its membership and reputation with its first ...

During a keynote address at a conference in Los Angeles, entrepreneurial heavyweight Magic Leap anno ...

A colorless, odorless gas used by a UM scientist to study ocean currents helps save his vision. ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

The Canes have won five straight games and are 2-0 in the ACC, but they know they have a tough road ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.