A picture released on Wednesday revealed the words “Stop Islam” written in chalk onto the centre of the University of Michigan campus, presumably as a reaction to recent Islamist terror attacks.
The phrase, which originally started as a Twitter hashtag #StopIslam in the aftermath of the Belgian, Turkish, and Pakistani terror attacks, quickly became a trending controversy.
Some Muslims students argued that the university should remove the message, but the university yesterday refused, citing that they allow messages to be written in chalk on campus plazas. Students quickly proceeded to wipe out the “Stop” and leave the word “Islam.”
Rick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the University of Michigan, said in a statement on Wednesday: “We do not typically remove chalk on sidewalks or walkways. It is a regular occurrence across campus and on the Diag.”
He said that the university’s policy on chalking reads: “Chalking with water soluble chalk is allowed on University sidewalks and plazas. Chalking is prohibited on other University property including, but not limited to, buildings, columns, seating walls, steps, and other surfaces, structures and fixtures. The University has no responsibility for maintaining or removing chalk placed on sidewalks or plazas.”
However he added that “attacks directed toward any member or group within the University of Michigan community, based on a belief or characteristic, are inconsistent with our values of respect, civility and equality.”
The phrases “Build the Wall,” “Stop the Rape of Europe,” and “Trump 2016” were also reportedly written on other parts of the campus.