Quran copies found dumped in toilet at University of Texas at Dallas, police call it ‘shocking’

Copies of the Quran dumped in a toilet at the University of Texas at Dallas. Photo courtesy of Sammy Lutes.

NEW YORK: Calling it ‘shocking” and “unusual”, police are searching for the person(s) who dumped several copies of the Quran in campus toilets at the University of Texas at Dallas.

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth reported on Thursday that UT Dallas Police say they are reviewing surveillance video from inside the Student Union building, but have not made much headway in the case.

Earlier, the UT Texas Dallas campus publication, The Mercury reported a group of Student Government senators found copies of the Quran inside the toilets in the bathrooms adjacent to the Galaxy Rooms.

Jonathan Schuler, the head of the SG legislative affairs committee, discovered the Qurans in the bathrooms after the Student Government meeting on March 28.

“I was appalled. It made a lot of the hate I had been hearing and seeing on national news real, and very present,” he said.

Sammy Lutes, a neuroscience senior who serves as a senator on the legislative affairs committee, was quoted as saying: “I was just really shocked. And I was kind of in disbelief for a moment. I didn’t believe that was a real thing that must have happened.”

The Muslim Student Association held its regular board meeting and discussed the incident. Mohammad Syed, president of the MSA, strongly condemned the act.

“Given the current political climate and how Muslims are portrayed in the media, it makes certain individuals act in this hateful way,” he said.

“In itself, I think it is an isolated incident not part of a larger effort. But I still think it is extremely frightening. I think that administration should really address the situation of Islamophobia and hate on campus,” Lutes said, in a statement released by Student Government.

NBC 5 also quoted Syed as saying, that he has only good things to say about his campus experience.

“It’s definitely saddening and a little disturbing as well,” said Syed. “It’s something that we do not expect to happen, especially at this campus.”

Syed said he’s always known UT Dallas as a diverse and inclusive place, which was the one of the things that drew him to pursue a degree in neuroscience there.

“UT Dallas is a very welcoming environment,” he said. “And I have nothing but good things to say about it.”

And that won’t change despite this incident.

“You know, while there is a little voice of hate, there is an overwhelming voice of love and support [here] and we definitely appreciate that,” said Syed. “And I’m very happy to say I’m a student, a Comet, over here at UTD.”




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