An Islamophobic incident involving Qurans is stirring controversy in the heart of the Lone Star State, local news organizations reported. The suspect or suspects behind this effort are still at large.
NBC reports that several Quran books were found dumped in University of Texas at Dallas campus toilets. According to police investigating the case, this is a “shocking” and “unusual” occurrence.
The copies were first discovered by Sammy Lutes, a neuroscience senior who serves as a senator on the school's legislative affairs committee. He had gone to a Dallas campus restroom at the university's Student Union building when he found the holy books dumped into toilets.
Lutes immediately snapped photos of the seemingly anti-Muslim incident and then proceeded to report it to campus security. That's when the police got involved.
A Muslim UT student, Mohammad Syed, said he was in disbelief when he heard the news. It was only when he saw the photos that he actually realized what had happened.
“It's definitely saddening and a little disturbing as well,” Syed, who also serves as the president of the UT Dallas Muslim Student Association, said. “It's something that we do not expect to happen, especially at this campus.”
Talking to the school's newspaper, Syed added that “[g]iven the current political climate and how Muslims are portrayed in the media, it makes certain individuals act in this hateful way.”
Despite this show of intolerance, Syed said he believes that “UT Dallas is a very welcoming environment,” and that “ while there is a little voice of hate, there is an overwhelming voice of love and support [here] and we definitely appreciate that.”
UT Dallas police are reviewing surveillance footage from inside the Student Union building to investigate this incident and identify the culprits.
So far, officials acknowledge they haven't found “anything out of the ordinary” but that they will continue to investigate.
It's encouraging to see a Muslim student reassure the public that in places like the University of Texas, people of the Islamic faith have a safe haven and are treated with respect.
Still, hate appears to exist everywhere. We hope officials find the ones responsible for this act, and that they are punished accordingly.