Colleges Forced to Address Rise in Anti-Muslim, Anti-Semitic Rhetoric on Campuses

Article by Kelley Taylor

In 2015, Virginia Tech police responded to a threat — made via graffiti in a campus bathroom — to “kill all Muslims” on a stated date. After discovering a similar graffiti message on its campus, Eastern Kentucky University reportedly shut down for a short time.

In the same year, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic posters encouraging violence against Jewish and Muslim students were displayed on American University’s campus. And in 2016, Newsweek reported that several Jewish student events were disrupted at Boston University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Florida and that the University of California discovered anti-Semitic language — advocating “sending Zionists to the gas chamber” — spray- painted on campus walls and buildings.

Unfortunately, stories like these and many others — describing a rising tide of hateful rhetoric and speech, racism, discrimination, and in some cases, hate crimes, against various minority and religious groups — are becoming more common. Where religious prejudice is concerned, anti- Semitic and anti-Muslim sentiments and related acts are occurring with alarming frequency across the nation, in a variety of venues. Notably, U.S. college and university campuses are among the environments experiencing a significant rise in these odious attitudes and actions.

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