ANN ARBOR (WWJ) - A spokesman for the University of Michigan is denouncing anti-Islam graffiti that appeared on the Ann Arbor campus this week.
The "racist symbols and phrases," including #StopIslam — along with slogans "Trump 2016" and "Build the Wall" — were found scrawled in chalk at a central campus square known as the Diag.
Students tweeted photos of the graffiti on Wednesday.
U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told the Detroit News that, although chalking is allowed on campus sidewalks, attacks toward people or groups are inconsistent with the school's values.
Steve Spreitzer, President of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, says he doesn't believe things will get better for the Muslim community anytime soon.
"With seven or so more months of this election, it's likely to get worse," he told WWJ Newsradio 950's Zahra Huber. "Also, globally, the activities of Daesh are only going to get worse."
[Note: Daesh is an acronym for the Arabic phrase al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham — which translates to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Essentially, it's another name for ISIS.]
"I really feel for my Muslim friends," Spreitzer added. "I mean, seriously — to live under that every day, something new is happening, it just gets worse and worse. And, so, all the more reason: If you don't know someone who is Muslim, get to know them."
Spreitzer says 62 percent of the public has never met a Muslim, and people come to erroneous conclusions about the religion from what they see and hear about in the media.
"The manufactured bigotry of this election has the hatred and fear of Muslims higher now than 9-11, and higher now than any time in history," Spreitzer said.
"When you combine that with the global activity of Daesh, and the groups that have hijacked Islam for political and economic gain, you have a horrible situation in where people are making conclusions about Islam that are not based on fact."
An Arab-American advocacy group is investigating the "hate graffiti."
Anyone with information about the anti-Islam graffiti at University of Michigan is urged to contact campus police.
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