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Islamophobic flyers and graffiti found on Western’s campus

One of the flyers depicting anti-Islam messages that was posted on a bulletin board in Haggard Hall on Western Washington University’s campus, found on Sept. 29.
One of the flyers depicting anti-Islam messages that was posted on a bulletin board in Haggard Hall on Western Washington University’s campus, found on Sept. 29. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Islamophobic flyers and graffiti have been found on Western Washington University’s campus on three separate occasions since early August, University Police records show.

The flyer-size sheets show a photo of a demonstration with words written with what appear to be a Sharpie-like marker that call for the extermination of “Islamo-Nazi scum” and “Islamo-Fascist Vermin.” The flyers also made derogatory statements about gay people, called the Democratic Party fascists, and mentioned wanting free speech not political correctness, the records show.

Other anti-Islam statements were written over several posters on bulletin boards in Miller and Haggard halls.

“We strongly condemn these hateful messages that are unequivocally wrong and contrary to the values of our campus community. We encourage anyone who sees such messages to immediately alert University Police,” said Western spokesman Paul Cocke.

The flyers were first discovered on Aug. 10 by a public safety attendant who reported seeing concerning posts on the bulletin boards in Haggard and Miller halls, according to police records.

Three days later on Aug. 13, three posters, one printed essay and a standalone paper were found to have anti-Islamic and anti-Democratic party writings on them.

Then on Sept. 29, just two days after Western’s fall quarter began, another anti-Islamic flyer was found in Haggard Hall, this time reported by a staff member of the Associated Students/Viking Union Publicity Center, according to police records.

Cocke said Western has several free speech boards throughout campus where students can post different messages, as well as on Western’s Facebook page, but condemned these types of messages.

“When a message has language advocating killing people we’re not going to keep those up,” Cocke said. “There’s lots of ways Western students can comment, but something like this that is actually threatening harm is a different story.”

University Police is increasing its presence in those areas and is reaching out to Bellingham Police to see if similar graffiti or flyers have appeared in the city, Cocke said.

Anyone with any information that could help identify who may be involved should call Western Washington University Police, 360-650-3911.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt

Campus assistance

▪  If you have experienced discrimination, bias or a hate crime you can make an appointment with the Equal Opportunity Office at 360-650-3307.

▪  If you’re dealing with an emergency situation, call 911 or University Police.

▪  To learn about Western’s values and rules regarding free speech, visit Western’s Freedom of Expression & Assembly website at wp.wwu.edu/timeplacemanner/.

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