NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Shortly after an anti-Muslim poster was found at Rutgers University this week, school officials reported this morning the discovery of an anti-Latino poster on campus.
The anti-Muslim handbill called for a “Muslim-free America” and was posted Monday at the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, which offers prayer space for Muslim students, according to a Rutgers spokesperson. The anti-Latino poster was found today at the Center for Latino Arts and Culture.
Both posters appear to be from the American Vanguard, a white-nationalist hate group that operates across the country.
“The contents of the [fliers], which were also posted elsewhere nationwide, violate the values and ideals for which Rutgers stands,” a university spokesperson said. “We strongly condemn this kind of speech and are appalled that our Muslim and Latino communities were targeted this way.”
The Rutgers University Police Department has since increased patrols around the cultural centers, according to the school.
Rutgers Police also provided details of the incidents to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
A spokesperson for the prosecutor did not immediately return requests for information from TAPinto New Brunswick.
Rutgers New Brunswick Chancellor Richard Edwards wrote a letter yesterday to the school’s Muslim Student Association denouncing the hate speech and promising to up security on campus.
“It is a sad reality that some are emboldened to propagate hate. None of us can control that,” Edwards wrote, according to a copy of the letter posted on Facebook. “However, I can commit to you and all our students that the full efforts of our university are focused on creating an intellectual and inclusive environment that rejects bias and intimidation.”
Edwards labeled the ideas on the poster “detestable,” pledging Rutgers’ support to its roughly 7,000 Muslim students.
The chancellor also directed the Division of Student Affairs to work with the Muslim group to ensure that Rutgers is, “above all else, a safe space.”
Paul Robeson Cultural Center staffers responded to the earlier incident by hanging dozens of pro-Muslim, pro-love posters in its windows. The move prompted the university’s Muslim Student Association to thank the center on Facebook.
The Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University has advised students to “be vigilant and let us know if you see anything.”