(ATLANTA, GA, 4/10/2019) -- The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today encouraged anyone with information about the alleged desecration of a ritual washing area used by Muslim students at Emory University to contact the school's police department.
According to an email the school sent to some members of the Emory community on April 5th, an unidentified individual urinated in a washing station used by primarily by Muslim students to perform “wudu” (a ritual washing) before prayer in the Claudia Nance Rollins Building.
A female Muslim student who entered the washing area on April 4th reported that she noticed the smell of urine in the area, and then saw urine in both the washing area and on the floor. She reported the desecration to the school, which cleaned the area, and sent an email expressing support for Emory's Muslim student population.
The apparent act of anti-Muslim desecration occurred during a week in which heated disputes arose on campus between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine student activists, all of which was made worse by false allegations of anti-Semitism leveled against a Palestinian student group by outside organizations and rightwing media outlets.
In a statement, CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said:
"We welcome Emory University's pledge to investigate this incident, and we strongly encourage the school's police department to file criminal charges if they determine that the person responsible was motivated by bigotry.
"Prayer facilities on college campuses should be safe spaces for students of all faiths and backgrounds. Whoever urinated in an area clearly marked as a sacred space either made a terrible mistake or engaged in a deliberate act of hate.
"The fact that this incident occurred during a week in which student activists, many of them Muslim, were harshly attacked for raising awareness about the Israeli government's demolition of Palestinian homes makes us concerned that whoever urinated in the prayer area may have done so knowingly and maliciously.
CAIR has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.