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Vandalism of Islamic Art (11/21/23)

Review Completed

What happened:

Two religious leaders in the Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning and Experiences (CIRCLE), which is on the third floor of Old Union, found someone had defaced a piece of Islamic art, by poking small holes into it as well as scratching some areas of the piece.  

The art is part of a collection of multi-faith silk screens created for the opening of the CIRCLE in 2007. Each piece in the series has a quote or inscription sacred to a religious tradition. The pieces are approximately 3 ft x 3 ft and adorn the walls of the Common Room. This one said, “La ilaha ila Allah” in Arabic, which translates to “There is only One God.” It is the Muslim testament of faith. The writing on the art piece was scratched. 

Vandalism is a crime in the state of California. Stanford condemns any Islamophobic bias and this incident is antithetical to our values.  It is absolutely unacceptable here. 

What is being done:

Updated as of 11/29/23

A PIH report was submitted on 11/28/23 by the Department of Public Safety. 

This incident has been reported to the Department of Public Safety, and it is currently under investigation as vandalism motivated by hate. The Jeanne Clery Act and CA Education Code 67380 require the University to record and publish the number of hate incidents occurring on campus. When motivated by the perception of an individual or a group’s disability, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, vandalizing another’s personal property is considered a civil rights violation.

At this time, it is believed that the artwork cannot be restored.

Vandalism is a violation of the CA Penal Code, and is subject to legal/disciplinary action.

The Markaz and ORSL staff are aware of the incident and can serve as support systems for students. 

What to do:

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