Community responds to "Punish a Muslim" threats

The Eugene Islamic Center hasn't received any direct threats, but leaders say they are on heightened alert.

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 6:18 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 5:47 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A hate-based propaganda initiative circulated worldwide Tuesday, and members of the Eugene community responded.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office said the flyers have been circulated electronically.  The Sheriff's office said they haven't heard about any reports of hate crimes linked to it. They are encouraging anyone who feels threatened to contact authorities.

A member of the Eugene Islamic Center said the threat is unfortunate.

"It makes a person feel sad, it makes them feel angry, not necessarily in an aggressive sense but in the sense that we hope one day we can give communication a chance," Yosof Wanly said.

Wanly said overall the community has been accepting of their religion but said hateful messages like these can come when there's not enough open communication. 

Students at the University of Oregon also set up a table on campus Tuesday to talk about Islam. Members of the Muslim Student Association said they wanted a place to talk to students, to foster a better understanding of who they are.

Students said it is depressing to hear about these threats. 

"It's sad because [it's] just someone's belief and everyone has a right to believe in what they want to believe and you can't punish them for that," Kaushal Sapkota, a student said.

Wanly said right now, the Eugene Islamic Center hasn't received any direct threats, but since they have received threats in the past they have been on heightened alert. 

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