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Pro-Trump Graffiti Found in Muslim Prayer Room at NYU's Brooklyn Campus

By Alexandra Leon | November 10, 2016 4:16pm | Updated on November 10, 2016 4:46pm
 Graffiti referencing president-elect Donald Trump was found outside a Muslim prayer room at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering in Downtown Brooklyn.
Graffiti referencing president-elect Donald Trump was found outside a Muslim prayer room at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering in Downtown Brooklyn.
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Facebook/NYU Muslim Students Association

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Pro-Trump graffiti was found outside a Muslim prayer room at New York University’s engineering school, officials said.

Muslim students found the word “Trump!” written on the door of the prayer room inside the Tandon School of Engineering at 6 MetroTech Center Wednesday, the day after the election, according to a Facebook post by the NYU Muslim Students Association.

“This morning at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Muslim students found 'Trump' scrawled on the door of their prayer room, realizing that our campus is not immune to the bigotry that grips America,” the Facebook post said.

“We awoke on November 9th to a chilling wakeup call.”

A Muslim student found the message around 9 a.m., according to RJ Khalaf, treasurer of the NYU Muslim Students Association.

“When they found it they were shocked and probably angered, but mostly really disappointed,” Khalaf said. 

“Our general community is feeling quite scared right now, they’re kind of unsure of how their lives as Americans will be in this country."

The message was written in black erasable ink, according to school spokeswoman Kathleen Hamilton.

Another message reading "Vote Trump" written in similar handwriting was found on a cafeteria microwave in the same building, Hamilton said.

The school addressed the graffiti, first reported by Gothamist, in an email sent to Tandon students that urged them to treat their peers with mutual respect.   

“We as a community are all different with different sensitivities, and I think it is utterly reasonable to expect that civility and mutual respect will form the core of our collective and individual behaviors,” said the noted, signed by Dean K. R. Sreenivasan. 

“Anytime anyone violates this norm, it is an offense against us all: whatever our political or personal leanings, we should be mindful of this common courtesy, to which I hold all of you — me included.”

Sreenivasan also sent a note to faculty members asking them to be vigilant regarding similar incidents. 

The NYPD said it is looking into the graffiti but that it is not being investigated as a hate crime.

An NYU public safety officer is now stationed outside the prayer room at the Brooklyn campus and the Islamic center at the main campus in Manhattan, Khalaf said. 

NYU's Muslim Students Association held a support group with students and the campus imam Wednesday night following the incident, he added The student group will be holding a "Rise Above Hate" rally Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Kimmel Grand Staircase in the main campus.

“It’s not something that’s necessarily partisan, but it’s something to say that hatred and bigotry and acts like this have no place on our campus,” Khalaf said.