New graffiti found on campus
Police hunt culprit of second incident of Islamophobic graffiti to hit the University of Birmingham
New Islamophobic graffiti has been discovered on campus. The graffiti was found on the Guild building and by the sports pitches.
The graffiti by the sports pitches reads ‘Kill Islam before it kills you’. This is exactly the same wording as one of the incidents in January, which was condemned by the NUS National Executive Council in the same month.
Some have taken to social media to express their feelings on the matter. Discussion on the anonymous chat app Ekho has led to heated debate over the motivation behind today’s incidents.
Shahin Ashraf, Muslim Chaplain at the University, told Redbrick, ‘There is no place for any kind of hatred within campus and off campus too.’ She called the incidents, ‘terrible’ and urges any students who have been upset by the offensive material to see someone at the Chaplaincy for support.
Ashraf is calling for security to be ‘stepped up on campus in light of this graffiti.’
Katie Webb, Anti-Racism, Anti-Facism Officer-Elect told Redbrick, ‘This act of islamophobia is completely unacceptable and something we must stand against as a university and as a student body.’ Katie called the graffiti a ‘vile act’ and added said she is ‘saddened by the intolerant and cowardly behaviour’. She added that ‘no student should feel scared due to their race, creed or religion’.
The graffiti has been cleaned away now, and the atmosphere on campus is calm as many students did not see the messages.
Update 16/03/15 9.55am: The West Midlands Police told Redbrick, ‘A member of university security staff alerted police to racist graffiti on campus at 7.20am this morning (March 14) – this has been classed as a criminal damage hate crime and an investigation is underway to try and find those responsible.’
Update 17/03/15 11.12am: The University told Redbrick, ‘We unreservedly condemn the racist graffiti on campus. We are determined to find those responsible and have reported it to West Midlands Police and are working with them to identify those involved.
‘Our University is a community of 150 nations and we are proud to be situated in a vibrant multi-cultural City. Discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. We are therefore actively working with a range of groups to bring people together and ensure that our University is a place where diversity is celebrated and everyone plays their part in creating a vibrant and welcoming community.’