Police investigations have begun after Islamophobic graffiti was discovered on the University of Birmingham campus.
The offensive scrawls were sprayed in black ink on the side of the Psychology building and included the phrase ‘Islam must die’ and a swastika.
It is believed that the incident took place between Friday evening and Sunday morning and has also been linked to a case of anti-Islamic graffiti on a mosque in Selly Oak. The graffiti has since been removed from both locations.
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"Students deserve to walk around Campus free from fear. That was not the case at University of Birmingham today," one anonymous Islamic student told The Birmingham Tab.
"Birmingham is a city and University rich in cultural and ethnic diversity and any form of hostility must remain unwelcome," they added. "All students, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality have the right to freely express their identity on campus. The attacks were a nasty attempt to silence and frighten students."
“Mindless hate of this kind has no place in 21st century Birmingham and work is underway to find the person responsible,” police sergeant Pete Sandhu told The Birmingham Mail.
“My officers have visited both sites and spoken to a number of people. Evidential photographs have been taken and CCTV which may have captured the vandal is currently being reviewed.”
A representative from the university's Islamic Society told Redbrick, Birmingham’s student newspaper: "We are deeply saddened and shocked at this Islamaphobic campaign, which condemns all Muslims without justification. This is a prime example of racist propaganda, designed to stir up hatred and only serves to alienate Muslim students from the rest."
The graffiti has been “unreservedly” condemned by The Guild of Students, which also emphasised that ‘both the Guild and the University have a strict no-tolerance policy against any form of discrimination” and “are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for all”.
A university spokeswoman said: “The graffiti was removed as soon as it was discovered and the university is investigating the matter with West Midlands Police."
Director of TELL MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal, said the incident was "appalling".
"Where someone has the guts and chutzpah to place such a statement inferring that Islam must die on a university campus that has lots of Muslim students. If that is the case, one can easily infer that this person wants Muslims to be killed and was trying to put themselves outside of hate speech.”
“We suggest that CCTV and relevant resources be used to find this individual or set of individuals. Much has been made of Prevent being enforced and mainstreamed in Universities. Such a case should be looked at within the spectrum of Prevent given the inferences that can be made and given the nature of the crime which was targeted to cause maximum distress and fear to students, particularly Muslim students."
Anyone with any information should call the police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.