Story by Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief
Several posters hung in Faculty Hall advertising the Muslim Student Organization’s, or MSO, Hijab Day were reported as being vandalized with slurs against the organization and event.
The vandalism was reported Sept. 17, the day of the event, and slurs such as “Hey want to find out what it’s like to be flogged? Stoned, too?” and “Bad joke!” were written on the pink and white posters.
Jordi Tennison, senior from St. Louis, said she first heard about the vandalism after her girlfriend sent her a text message that morning. After she saw the posters firsthand, she said she took one down and reported it.
“I was appalled,” she said. “It’s crazy to think someone would go that far.”
Tennison said when she turned the poster in to a secretary in the building, she was told there had been multiple reports already that morning.
Tennison said shared a photo of the vandalism on Facebook, which garnered responses from the university community and more than 120 shares.
MSO student Paige Carman designed the posters for the event and said she did not let the vandalism upset her, but rather looked at it from her religion’s point of view.
“We’re not supposed to get mad about things like this or upset about things like this,” Carman said. “We try to follow prophet Mohammad, peace be upon Him, and what he says. He used to get trash thrown upon Him and he would pay no mind to it.”
She said the media can misrepresent her culture and religion, but that she would be happy to talk to and teach people – including whoever wrote on the posters – about the Muslim culture.
She said MSO wants to help students understand their religion and that events such as Hijab Day are meant to help people dismiss any misconceptions they might have.
She said the vandalism did not outshine the event itself and that most of the MSO students were unaware of it happening.
“We still had a happy time and everything was good and fine,” Carman said.
Carman said she knows that the vandalism does not represent Murray State and that she and MSO received encouragement and positive feedback more than anything. Carman converted over a year ago and said she this is the first time she has ever seen anything like this.
“I know Murray State is a very diverse place,” she said. “I know they didn’t mean to be so cruel about it. I know this has no reflection toward Murray State because it’s a wonderful university.”