Update: Here are photos of the 'ISIS' graffiti suspect at the U of M

The vandalized panel is the second anti-Muslim incident being addressed this week.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Members of the University of Minnesota's Muslim Student Association found their public bridge painting defaced this week – scrawled over with the phrase "ISIS."

The Muslim Students Association said it happened early Thursday on the Washington Avenue bridge – a high-traffic area where student groups early in the year get to paint panels. (It's the same bridge where someone vandalized a "Trump Pence" and "Build the Wall" sign this year.)

"The Muslim community is already in a fragile place, and needs this hate speech to be acknowledged and dealt with in a proper and timely manner," the group said. Here's the vandalized panel:

They asked the incident to be "fully investigated" and requested the University of Minnesota take a solid stance against that type of rhetoric.

University of Minnesota police put out surveillance photos of a possible suspect Friday morning.

The shots were taken at 3:45 a.m. Police ask anyone with information to call (612) 624-COPS, or email police@umn.edu.

Students for Justice in Palestine separately targeted

The vandalized panel is the second anti-Muslim incident being addressed this week.

Posters recently put up around the University of Minnesota campus claim the Students for Justice in Palestine group is affiliated with the Hamas terror group – like the one in the tweet above, but with the college name swapped. They were put up by an American-Israeli group, which has targeted other universities with anti-Islamic rhetoric as well, Alpha News reported.

Students for Justice in Palestine said the posters are misleading, confuse being Muslim with supporting Palestine, and wrongly portray them as "violent, anti-semitic terrorists" based on "Islamophobic stereotypes."

The university's response

A U of M official – Danita Brown Young, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students – wrote a letter to Students for Justice in Palestine, saying in part: "I am sorry for the hurt and fear this has caused you and the members of your group."

Young called the fliers "repulsive," adding she's "saddened, maddened and heartbroken by this continued hateful rhetoric that disproportionately affects our marginalized students and community."

President Eric Kaler, along with a few other U of M leaders, addressed both that incident and the "ISIS" spray-painting.

"We condemn these incidents. They are abhorrent actions that will not be tolerated on our campus," the statement reads.

Kaler said leaders met with affected students, and the bridge panel was painted over.

Muslims: One of the most negatively viewed religious groups

According to PEW Research Center there are about 3.3 million Muslims living in the US, a number that is likely to double by 2050.

A study from the center found Muslims are one of the most negatively viewed religious groups in the U.S.

Over the weekend, a Saudi Arabia native was beaten to death outside a pizza place in Menominie, Wisconsin. Hussain Saeed Alnahdi was 24 years old, and a student at University of Wisconsin Stout. Groups are offering thousands of dollars in rewards to find the killer.

Mosques have been targeted in Minnesota repeatedly. The Mankato Islamic Center's sign was vandalized in September. In February of this year, a vandal caused $5,000 of damage to the Umatul Islam Center in Minneapolis after breaking in, while there were a spate of vandal attacks on Islamic faith centers in St. Cloud towards the end of 2014.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

Related

Cab driver who called Rep. Ilhan Omar 'filthy' and 'ISIS' is punished

Rep. Omar, the first Somali-American legislator in the country, was harassed while coming back from the White House.

'Build the wall' painting at the U of M: 'Hurtful' to some, but free speech

A "Build the wall" painting has not gone over well with critics.

Headquarters for anti-abortion group tagged with 'F--- Trump' graffiti

One of the messages reads: "Squirm in need, another f------ mouth to feed."

Jewish U of M student finds Nazi messages scrawled in his dorm room

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from students and Jewish groups.

Student group explains sign telling white Americans to turn in 'illegal aliens'

"It is your civic duty to report any and all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement," the posters said.

Family's 'dream home' tagged with racist graffiti and 'get out' message

The family is moving because they don't feel safe in the home anymore.

St. Olaf: School president signs terms after days of student protests

Students had been protesting after a note that said, "One less n----r that this school has to deal with," had been found on someone's car.

That racist note at St. Olaf was apparently faked to 'draw attention' to issues

St. Olaf's president said they spoke with the author, who confessed it was done to draw attention to their concerns.