‘Hate and violence have no place here.’ Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University addresses break-in, vandalism

Those speaking today acknowledged the support from Rutgers and state leaders but also demanded action be taken to ensure their safety.

Tony Caputo and Lanette Espy

Apr 11, 2024, 9:42 AM

Updated 45 days ago

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Officials at the Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University addressed the vandalism that took place Wednesday at the center on College Avenue during the Eid holiday.
One student who is the president of the Muslim Public Relations Council told News 12 New Jersey that the Center for Islamic Life has been her safe place. She said it was a place she felt welcomed and comfortable, at least until the vandalism two days ago.
Those speaking today acknowledged the support from Rutgers and state leaders but also demanded action be taken to ensure their safety.
Atiya Aftab, the Board of Trustees chair for the center, said hate and violence is not the answer.
“If you disagree with our stance for an immediate cease-fire in Palestine and the allowance of humanitarian aid, let’s debate that in the halls of this university. That is what Rutgers is about. Hate and violence have no place here. Our property was sledgehammered, but our will is resolute,” Aftab said.
The break-in happened as Muslims were ending Ramadan and celebrating the day of Eid. Video of the incident shows shattered belongings all over the floor, and art pieces containing verses of the Quran were vandalized. Windows were broken, TVs and printers were destroyed, and a Palestinian flag was stolen.
No arrests have been made yet as the investigation continues.


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