U of O says a police investigation is underway
On Nov. 30, the University of Ottawa issued an email notifying students about racist and homophobic posters distributed on campus.
After receiving complaints and concerns from U of O students, the Human Rights Office and Protection services said it “acted immediately to remove all of the posters around campus.”
The posters feature an image of Adolf Hitler and the Islamic prophet Muhammad, listing the two figures based on their alleged similarities and differences.
One point of similarity listed on the posters reads, “both hated Jews and ordered their massacre.” On their differences another point says that Hitler “personally killed no one while in power,” whereas Muhammad “beheaded many while in power.”
The University of Ottawa said once it was notified about the posters it contacted the Ottawa Police Service, and that an investigation is currently underway.
On Nov. 29, the Facebook group Spotted at uOttawa posted a photo of the posters. Students responded to the posters, some saying that the posters were disgusting and hateful.
One comment on a Spotted at uOttawa post with the photo reads, “I suggest not sharing such ignorant action and to avoid publicizing broader … inappropriate attacks.”
Another student commented, “(The university) notified the police to investigate this poster? At this point should we just instate blasphemy laws?”
On Dec. 3, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa released a statement on its Facebook page encouraging concerned students to contact local Muslim leaders, or the Muslim Student Association,
“In regard to sensitive matters that have been brought up, we invite university students to exercise their academic rigorousity and critical thinking that they learn in class beyond the classrooms,” reads the Facebook post.
Currently at the U of O, all posters must be stamped and approved by Community Life Service. Its guideline states that all posters without a stamp will be removed.
The Fulcrum reached out the University of Ottawa for a comment, but it did not respond at the time of this publication.
An email released by the university said it “values and encourages freedom of expression, freedom of religion and full equality,” and is “committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment that promotes dignity and respect for all.”
Any sightings of the posters can be reported to the Human Rights Office at respect@uOttawa.ca or 613-562-5800 ext. 5222, or Protection Services at protection@uOttawa.ca or 613-562-5499.