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Anti-Muslim flyer prompts response from Rutgers chancellor

In an email to the Rutgers community, University Chancellor Debasish Dutta asked that students show kindness and solidarity to one another following the appearance of viral flyers calling for violence against Muslim people. – Photo by Wikimedia

In reaction to a viral flyer calling for violence against Muslim people, Chancellor Debasish Dutta had a request for the student body on Friday — kindness and solidarity. 

The flyer called “Punish a Muslim Day” reads, “They have hurt you, they have made your loved ones suffer ... What are you going to do about it? ... Do not be a sheep!” according to The New York Times

Dutta said it was first brought to his attention from images that have been circulating online which promote harassment and violence against Muslims on the designated day, April 3. 

The flyer shows a point system in which a number of points is awarded for each act listed. 

These include 25 points for pulling the hijab off a Muslim woman, 50 points for throwing acid in a Muslim's face, 500 points for butchering a Muslim using a gun, knife or vehicle, 1,000 points for burning or bombing a mosque and 2,500 points for nuking Mecca, what is considered Islam’s holiest city. 

The flyer states that there will be rewards for actions taken. 

Dutta asked that students come together as one community regardless of religion, sexual orientation, nationality or any identity at a time when the country is deeply fragmented, according to an email from Dutta to the Rutgers community.  

“We all are aware that this is a fractious time in our nation and that many outside groups have seen this period as an opportunity to spark hate and discord among the diverse and inclusive communities at universities, including here at Rutgers,” he said in the email. 

Tell Mama, an organization that tracks anti-Muslim activity, reported that this flyer was first discovered around the U.K., according to The Washington Post. It was folded up in an envelope and sent anonymously to several communities in the area. Since then, it has garnered international attention. 

“Such calls for violence violate basic values that we hold dear in this country, including the right to live in an environment free from threat of violence, and should not be tolerated,” Dutta said in the email. 

Last semester, The Daily Targum reported that anti-immigration graffiti was found outside the Interfaith Mediation/Prayer Room on Busch campus, a place where some Muslim students go to pray. 

The writing read, “No immigrants aliens” and “Dear Mr. T: Build The Wall! Now.”

Last year, a flyer that read, “Imagine a Muslim-Free America” with a picture of the Twin Towers was posted on the wall of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, which houses a prayer room for Muslim students, as reported by the Targum

The bottom of the flyer recognized American Vanguard, a white nationalist group that claims “America is under attack."

Dutta asked that students rise above the offensive messages floating online and spread warmth and support to one another at this time. 

“I ask all of us to reject this hateful ideology and take this message as a call for us to show love, compassion and kindness in our community. I ask you to stand with me and affirm that you’ll be vigilant in building an inclusive and welcoming community here at Rutgers,” he said in the email. 

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