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Defaced Islamophobia forum posters on U of U campus investigated as hate crime

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Posted at 9:14 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 23:14:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- University of Utah police is investigating a hate crime on campus after several posters advertising a forum to discuss Islamophobia were found vandalized with hate messages.

The posters, hanging in OSH, were found defaced Friday afternoon. They advertised an event that took place April 6 discussing Islamophobia and bigotry in America fueled by 2016 the presidential race.

“We really don’t know who the vandal was, it very well could have been someone not associated with this campus,” university spokeswoman Maria O’Mara.

The University of Utah says they pride themselves on being a place for free, open thinking, but this vandalism was a cowardly way to go about it.

“Nothing that this person did is in any way reflective of our values as an institution and frankly, I think of American values of religious freedom of expression,” O’Mara said.

Some messages found the posters read: Islam means death to the west.

“Vandalism isn’t an easy crime to solve, but we’ve turned the case over to University Police, and they’re investigating it now,” Mara said.

Students were disappointed by the act, saying it’s the kind of intolerance they wouldn’t expect to find on a university campus.