For the second time this school year, campus police at the University of Southern Maine are investigating anti-Muslim graffiti found on the Portland campus.
Earlier this week, students found the words “Kill the Muslin” [sic] on a poster explaining how to handle an active shooter situation. A spokesperson for USM said the implication is believed to be that the active shooter would be a Muslim.
“I cannot begin to tell you how this strikes at the heart of everything we are trying to accomplish here as a place where everyone feels welcome and safe,” said Glenn Cummings, USM President, in a written statement.
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Staff at all three USM campus locations held drop-in hours for students to discuss the graffiti, and other concerns about Islmaphobia.
“This is something we are taking seriously,” said Assistant Dean of Students Sarah Holmes
Last fall, students found the words “Deus Vult” written in the campus center. It is a Latin phrase from the Crusades, that has recently been adopted by the Alt-Right to intimidate Muslims.
“There’s a lot of frustration, and there’s a lot of fear,” said USM Student Body President Humza Khan, who is a Muslim. “Why does this keep happening?”
Campus police and Portland police are working with USM administrators to find the person responsible.
Khan said many people have shown support for Muslim students this week, which has helped them feel safer. But he does feel this latest graffiti incident was a direct threat to students.
“When someone says we’re going to kill someone, I think that’s where we have to draw the line,” he said.