San Diego

Muslim Internment-Style Posters Found on UCSD Campus

Someone claiming responsibilty said the posters are not "anti-Muslim" and are meant to "shock and anger people" by using the Japanese internment as a cautionary tale

Flyers about Muslim internment camps were found posted on the UC San Diego campus Wednesday, NBC 7 confirmed.

The posting on a billboard took the form of Internment Notices, which signaled the roundup of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II.

But these notices targeted Muslims.

NBC 7 discovered a flyer hanging on the bulletin board inside Argo Hall, a residential hall in Revelle College.

It called for the evacuation of members of the Islamic faith living in San Diego County.

In part, the poster read: 

"All Muslim persons, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above designated area by 12:00 o'clock noon Wednesday, April 8, 2017. No Muslim person will be permitted to enter or leave the above described area after 8:00 a.m., Thursday, April 2, 2017, without obtaining special permission from the Provost Marshal at the Civil Control Station..."

NBC 7 received an email from a person who claimed responsibility for the flyers. The alleged creator of the flyers said they weren't meant to be "anti-Muslim," but designed to "shock and anger people" by using the Japanese internment as a cautionary tale.

"The posters were meant to mimic the internment posters because I wanted to shock/anger people and to show them what could happen if they didn't do anything to stop it. It was a warning presented as a possible future," the email read.

UC San Diego has not responded to NBC 7's request for comment.

Students who spoke to NBC 7 Wednesday evening said they were outraged at the flyers and the tone it took about the Japanese internment.

“To mock it and to make fun of it or to even take it seriously is messed up. It's just wrong,” student Kra Bars said.

"It should be taken seriously because this is not a joke,” freshman Silvina Rodriguez said.

"It’s not right. They shouldn't be allowed to do any of this,” Argo Hall resident Rosa Moreno said.

UCSD newspaper The Triton said flyers were also found hanging at Thurgood Marshall College, another one of the university's six colleges.

Marshall College, the third college founded on campus in 1970, was named after Thurgood Marshall, the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

UC San Diego has a history of racial unrest--in 2010, the Compton Cookout party that mocked Black History month drew backlash and sparked protests on campus.

In two other incidents in the following weeks, a noose was found hanging in a campus library and a KKK-style hood was placed on a statue outside the main campus library.

“Campus is one of the most accepting places in the country,” student Kra Bars said.

It's not known how long the flyers have been hanging on campus.

"You find it offensive, yes, and I am pretty sure that's not the only one posted,” freshman Lizbeth Ibarra said, tearing down one of the posters.

Students said Argo Hall is co-ed and has about 700 students of diverse backgrounds living there.

The incident comes amid a spike of hate crimes and other hate-related cases in the U.S. in recent months.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups rose from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016. The number of anti-Muslim hate groups saw the greatest rise, increasing to 101 from 34 in 2015, according to the annual census of hate groups by the SPLC. The increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes coincided with the increase of these hate groups, the report said.

Donald Trump's election and rhetoric during the campaign is, in part, responsible for this rise of anti-Muslim hate groups, the SPLC wrote in the report. Trump’s immigration order severely restricting travel from seven mostly Muslim countries was also seen by his critics as anti-Muslim. 

In his speech to Congress on Tuesday, Trump referenced threats against Jewish community centers and last week's violence targeting two Indian-American engineers in Olathe, Kansas, but did not specifically use the word "Muslim" in condemning hate crimes.

Trump was expected to sign a new executive order on immigration in the coming days. The new order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

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