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Muslim hate speech written on Sacramento State campus | News

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Muslim hate speech written on Sacramento State campus

Sacramento State officials are investigating hate speech writing discovered Tuesday on campus. 

University President Robert Nelsen said the hate speech was written toward the Muslim community on campus. 

"I was heartbroken and angered to learn that this happened on our campus," Nelsen wrote in a message to students, staff and faculty. "We are a Hornet family, and we will not stand for this kind of treatment of our family members."

The incident happened in the quad area of campus where student organizations gather to recruit and educate other students.

The Muslim Student Association was working at its table and took a break to go to class. When the students returned they found the hateful message.

"When I saw it I was just angry," said Rima Hakim, President of the Muslim Student Association. "It (the message) was a combination of Islamophobia and racist, and the person was pretty inaccurate in their vocabulary, so it was a little amusing, but it was really offensive."

Sacramento Sate is now investigating the hate speech and are going through video surveilance to see if they can catch the person in the act.

"This did happen in an area of campus that has video cameras," said Ed Mills, CSUS Vice President of Student Affairs. "That video is still being investigated to see if we can find the person who did this." 

The Council of American Islamic Relations applauds Sacramento State's quick response, but say in today's political climate Muslim bashing has become the norm across the country.

"Not surprising during this political cycle," said Basim Ekkara of California Associated of Islamic Relations. "We've seen a uptick in incidents around the nation so it is not a surprise."

The MSA issued a statement saying they plan to hold educational programs to clarify misconceptions people may have about Muslims.

Hakim wishes she could speak to the person face-to-face.

"I think they took advantage of the fact we weren't there," Hakim said. "I wonder if they would say this to us personally?"

If you're on the campus and encounter something that makes you feel unsafe, Nelsen said to contact William “Skip” Bishop, Director of Equal Opportunity, at william.bishop@csus.edu; or Beth Lesen, Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Support, at beth.lesen@csus.edu.