/Libyan student receives a harassing note

Libyan student receives a harassing note

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Chelsi Law

Contributor

A Troy University international student found a note on his car which was parked behind Wallace Hall, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, threatening him to leave the United States.

Mohamed Anag, an economics major from Libya, found the letter that read “Get the f*** out of my country you freaking terrorist,” signed “Ashley.”

Libya is one of the seven countries included in President Trump’s travel ban.

The Tropolitan contacted Anag, who was unavailable on multiple occasions for an interview.

“There are a lot of students here at Troy that support the diversity of students, and they’re welcoming other people from other countries and other ethnicities and I have experienced that,” Anag said in an interview with the Troy Messenger.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Services and Administration John Dew said that an investigation is being conducted.

“We have been checking to see if there might be any kind of video footage to cover that area,” Dew said. “Of course, it is an unfortunate incident.”

Dew said that the person who wrote the note may not be affiliated with Troy University.

“I don’t think we should assume that the person who did this was necessarily one of our students, or perhaps someone who is on staff here,” Dew said. “It could have been someone just coming through the campus from the community, but it certainly concerns us.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, Feb. 22, the University said that it takes “very seriously any acts of intolerance or harassment of any student.”

Dew said he felt as if the person who wrote this note was acting out of fear of change and the unknown.

“I would suggest that this individual is probably operating out of a sense of fear,” Dew said. “Fear of the other, fear of those who are different from his or her background.

“One of the important aspects of higher education is for students along the way to confront our own ethnocentrism:  (the) view that the way we were raised and our definition of things is the only way, or the single normal way that the world operates. Part of a university education is to understand that people from other parts of the world, from other cultures, do have different ways of seeing things, but that we can all learn from each other. That’s really the point of being Alabama’s international university.”

“As Alabama’s international university, Troy is strengthened by the presence of students from around the globe,” the statement said.

Tyler Logan, a graduate assistant from Mobile, posted the note on Facebook and he expressed his shock of the note.

“When I first saw the note I was shocked that anyone at this university could leave something like that and have the gall to leave their signature,” Logan said. “I felt really bad for my roommate because I know him, and he is nothing of the sort the note said.”

Before you make a decision based on ignorance, let’s dialogue,” Anag said in an interview with the Troy Messenger. “Come and ask me questions.

“Why do you think I’m a terrorist? There are 1.6 billion Muslims. Just because a tiny fraction is doing bad things, it doesn’t mean we’re all the same. ISIS is trying to do it in the name of Islam, but it’s not accurate.”

Logan was present to witness how his roommate (Anag) handled the situation.

“My friend (Anag) seemed to just brush it off,” Logan said. “He said that if she (referring to “Ashley” who signed the note) would have just met him (Anag), she would think completely different of that statement.”

Logan said that he wishes the person who wrote the note could have been less judgmental.

“I hope that they could be a little more open and not judge someone based solely on where they are from,” Logan said.

Some students from the University are speaking out about the incident that occurred. Stanley Fagg, a sophomore music education major from Bainbridge, Georgia, expressed his concerns.

“It proves that there is a lack of communication between our international students and our American students,” Fagg said. “If that was me getting the letter, I would feel the same amount of hurt, just like the international person.

“I really believe we should find more ways to bond with our international students.”

Manal Alanazi, sophomore environmental biological science major from Saudi Arabia, said she has witnessed something like this before.

“I feel sad, you know,” Alanazi said. “It’s happened before in my country.

“There are some bad people, but there are more good people than the bad people.”

A Troy University staff member who wishes to remain anonymous shared his beliefs about this incident and other similar circumstances in the United States.

“I really don’t understand why we are putting such an emphasis on this international guy,” the source said. “These are issues that’ve been going on in our country for years.”

Dew said that international students should be forgiving of the person who wrote this note and that he wants all students to feel welcome at Troy.

“I hope that they (international students) will be understanding and forgiving of this individual,” Dew said.  “Overall, I think the Troy community is a very welcoming community to everybody, and the campus certainly is.

“We want them all to feel at home here and to feel comfortable here and to know that they are respected.”