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Muslim Student a Victim of Repeated Hate Crimes

21 November 2011 General 7 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Swastikas and a penis were viciously keyed into the sides of a UB student's car last week.

Swastikas and a penis were viciously keyed into the sides of a UB student's car last week.

By Sara Dinatale

On Sunday, Nov. 13, a Muslim student named Thawab walked from the Center for the Arts to the parking lot and found two swastikas and a penis keyed into the sides of her car. She reported the incident to University Police and requested that the department alert the entire campus about the crime, but UPD chose not to.

This is the third hate crime that Thawab, a senior English and political science major who didn’t want her full name revealed, has experienced while at UB. Two years ago, while she was passing out flyers in protest of speaker Effi Eitam, a student from the Hillel Office asked her, “Why don’t you go blow yourself up?”

Thawab’s car was also the target of hate crimes last semester. She repeatedly found the words “I will kill you” in the dust on her car.

Thawab reported each incident to UPD. None of them have been resolved, and they have all gone unreported to the UB community, according to Thawab.

“I think UB is more concerned about having this good image of its population, so it just hides these things that happen, these hate crimes.” Thawab said.

Thawab is a Syrian-American citizen who moved to the United States at a very young age. She attended Amherst Middle School and Williamsville North High School.  The Spectrum‘s news reporters tried multiple times over the past week to obtain police reports from UPD regarding these incidents, but the reports were never received.

Thawab feels UB students should be made aware that there is racist activity on campus. She views the swastika as “a symbol of hate.” She would have liked the UPD to send out a campus-wide alert.

Some students responded to the situation by asking, “You’re not Jewish, why are you even upset?” according to Thawab. She thinks the swastika has come to encompass and represent any sort of discrimination.

“It’s not like a Jewish/Muslim thing,” Thawab said. “It’s just a racist thing at its core.”

She added that many from the Jewish community have supported her.

Thawab said that when she went to UPD to report the crime, the first thing the officer asked her was, “Were you parked correctly?” – implying someone may have keyed her car out of anger resulting from a poor parking job. But for Thawab, hate and racism are the only explanations for the keyed obscenities.

She thinks the perpetrator either saw her leave her vehicle wearing her Muslim headscarf, or was aware that her “” bumper sticker is an organization in support of the Palestinian cause.

Thawab doesn’t believe the case is going to go much further, because UPD told her there was no security camera on her car. She doesn’t think the police can do much to find the perpetrator, but what she really wants is for the UB community to be made aware.

Thawab was told by UPD that her car had about $250 worth of damage. She has spent the last week driving her father’s car, because she was too embarrassed by her own. “I told the police they should report this as a hate crime,” Thawab said. “Nothing was reported to the UB community; it was as if it never happened.”

Original post: Muslim Student a Victim of Repeated Hate Crimes


  1. This young lady must have some unpopular ideas. She was protesting a visit by Effi Eitam who is considered a War hero. Given her outlandish propensity to make public her unpopular views(both verbal and in writing) there is only one course of action that we should all agree upon. She should be expelled from the University forthwith as her messages of hate place her and other students in danger. Due to her Anti Jewish like activism her background check should be flagged and she should not be allowed to work in any job that deals with the public directly or within a company that wants to maintain a positive public image. Does this Woman not know her views are unpopular and that because of this unpopularity she should keep them to herself rather than to cause offense? One would think that after Roy Egan of the TSA these hate mongers would stop attempting to use the First Amendment as a basis to justify unsavory unwanted speech. How does she think that the family of Effi Eitam and the peoples of Israel feel about her speech. How about the Millions of Americans that are offended by her protest of this man. Bigots like her and Egan have no place in society and would be better off living in a box begging for coins from those they have offended. The audacity of this woman claiming to be a victim when she has spewed so much hate into a calm and properly thinking community. In my mind she should be charged for mentally abusing college youth for forcing them to lash out and damage her vehicle in a vain attempt to show her how much her speech hurts them mentally and emotionally. My only question is where were the school officials when this woman started her reign of mischief and deceit?

  2. Are you being sarcastic? I think you’re being sarcastic.

  3. Cheri, I am a strong supporter of freedom of speech. I was just making the case that if you silence one person whom speech you do not like there may be others that want to silence speech you agree with. How hard is it to imagine a large group of students and staff that supports Israel on a campus that do not like what the girl has to say while others state the girls speech is bigoted against Jews and Christians thus she should be removed from campus. So yes it is sarcasm with the point that everyone should be able to air their views be they popular or unpopular as some group will, most always, have an opposing view. This young lady has no more and no less right to speak her mind as Mr. Eagan yet those that agree with her have determined her speech should be protected while others state that Mr. Eagan should have no such protection because they do not like what he has to say. Well let me be more clear. Mr. Eagan can speak he just cannot keep his job and speak. Ms. Thawab can speak but she does get to maintain her student status at the University.

  4. Having a bumper sticker that supports Palestine and is critical of a government’s policies is not hate speech and does not qualify as anti-Jewish hate speech. Protesting against the appointment of a speaker at a university does not qualify as hate speech. Thawab didn’t key swastikas onto people’s cars, she didn’t tell people to go blow themselves up. All she’s doing is being a Muslim, and she is being unfairly targeted for it. A bumper sticker and a few flyers protesting against the speech of a man does not qualify as hate speech, and they are not grounds for removal from the university.

  5. “criley401” protesting the policies and murderous individuals involved in the colonialist project of the Zionist entity (made up mostly of white European Ashkenazi colonialist invader squatter settlers from Europe and America stealing indigenous Palestinian Canaanite land) is not “hate speech”. But then again what can hasbara spewing people like you say but the same tired propaganda about claiming other people are allegedly “anti-Semitic” when you Khazars are not even Semitic to start with, Arabs are Semitic themselves, and you Zionists are the occupiers and criminal aggressors to start with.

  6. Criley, Now I really start thinking you are retarded.

  7. I did not disagree with her protest or her right to do so, I was only commenting using sarcasam to make the point that free speech is a right we should all cherish even when some abuse that right, I.E. the TSA agent who was fired. Abdul I do not even know what a hasbara spewing person is, but my statements had nothing to do with Islam or Semitism they were simply in defense of the first amendment.

    Salim, you should try to be less insulting I will have you know I have scored at least a 50 on every IQ test I have taken in my 17 years of attending our find public school system and my Graduation Certificate of Participation states clearly that I only missed three days of school in those 17 years. I work very hard and next week I am in line to become lead buffer on my car care team.

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