Staff at a Rutgers University cultural center are making it clear that Islamophobia has no place at their school.
A poster with the words “Imagine a Muslim-free America” and an image of the World Trade Center buildings was discovered on Monday evening taped to the outside of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.
The poster bore the name “American Vanguard” and advertised a suspended Twitter account and a website for a white supremacist organization. The site hosts a manifesto for the group that claims “White America is under attack” and that white Americans “must be willing to fight” a racial war.
Similar fliers cropped up at the University of Texas on Monday and have been found at a number of other college campuses around the country in recent months.
“The contents of the flyer, which was also posted elsewhere nationwide, violate the values and ideals for which Rutgers stands,” a Rutgers University–New Brunswick spokesperson told The Huffington Post. “We strongly condemn this kind of speech and are appalled that our Muslim community was targeted in this way.”
The spokesperson noted that the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, established in in 1967 to promote the welfare of black students on campus, also serves as a prayer space.
“Following our standard protocol, the Rutgers University Police Department responded and the flyer was removed. Details of the incident were immediately referred to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for review,” he said.
Kaiser Aslam, Muslim chaplain at Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University, posted about the incident on Facebook and encouraged student to “be vigilant.”
Staff at the cultural center took matters into their own hands and posted dozens of fliers with a message of love to combat hate. The new posters contained messages like “Love trumps hate,” “Stop Islamophobia now and “Muslims are welcome here.”
Cultural center staff reached by HuffPost said they could not comment, but the Rutgers University Muslim Student Association posted about the act of solidarity on Facebook, stating: “Combat 1 flyer of hate with 100 flyers of love and support!”