Muslim prayer rug found urinated on at U-M campus

- A prayer rug was desecrated by a vandal on the campus of the University of Michigan.

Students and staff were shocked to find out someone allegedly urinated on a prayer rug in a reflection room in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

"It's really surprising to hear that something like that could happen at the University of Michigan which is such a liberal campus," said student Arthi Bharadaj. "I am offended by that, I am of the Hindu faith and if I were in a place where my faith was shunned or shamed, I would be offended as well."

The university investigated the Sunday afternoon incident and released a statement from Robert Sellers, U-M chief diversity officer.

"Attacks toward members of our community will not be tolerated. This kind of behavior is abhorrent and not indicative of our values as an institution."

The Council of American-Islamic Relations is urging anyone who has information about who did this, to contact University of Michigan Public Safety.

"It's not just destruction of an edifice or a landmark," said Larry Wentzel, university staff member. "It's things that are personal to them."

The Muslim Students Association and the University of Michigan Islamic Society said:

"Vandalism to a campus reflection room not only adversely impacts the Muslim student community, but the greater university community. Safeguarding our places of personal, spiritual and faith based prayer and reflection is integral to fostering a diverse and tolerant Michigan."

On Thursday students and staff protested Trump's immigration ban. It was a rally that was scheduled before the prayer rug was allegedly urinated on.

"I think we're hearing of more and more about instances like this even building up to the election and after," said Craig Smith, university staff member. "People who have had racist and Islamaphobic views feel a little more freed up to act on those. And that's problematic of course."

Both the carpeting in the reflection room and the prayer rug are in the process of being replaced.
 


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