December 21, 2014  

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Faculty Senate Resolves to Stand With Target of Violence

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Jerry Buti accepts a resolution from The University of Southern Mississippi Faculty Senate condemning violence targeted at an off-campus Islamic Center. (Photo by Danny Rawls)

A resolution unanimously approved this afternoon (April 4) by The University of Southern Mississippi’s Faculty Senate condemned violence against an off-campus Islamic Center.

On March 18, Hattiesburg police were called to the center, located on North 25th Avenue, where they found evidence of bullets fired at the center. No one was occupying the facility at the time of the incident.

The resolution, which was presented to Jerry Buti of the center, reads in part, “The Faculty Senate of The University of Southern Mississippi, on behalf of the faculty, wishes to express their condemnation of the violence against the Islamic Center and their support for everyone to worship freely without fear of violence. Freedom of religion is a basic human right.”

It continues, “the Faculty Senate also wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the Muslim students and Muslim faculty at USM whose presence adds to our diverse campus community.”

The full resolution reads as follows:

Faculty Senate Resolution
April 4, 2014
Condemnation of Violence
WHEREAS, shortly before midnight of March 18, police received reports of shots being fired in the 200 block of North 25th Avenue, Hattiesburg. The next day police were called to the Islamic Center at 211 N. 25th Avenue where they saw evidence of bullets having been fired into the Center.

WHEREAS, several shots, apparently from a rifle, tore through the thick, wooden front door and penetrated an interior wall; other shots were fired through the back window and also penetrated interior walls. Fortunately no one was in the Center at the time.

BE IT RESOLVED, therefore, that the Faculty Senate of The University of Southern Mississippi, on behalf of the faculty, wishes to express their condemnation of the violence against the Islamic Center and their support for everyone to worship freely without fear of violence. Freedom of religion is a basic human right.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Faculty Senate also wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the Muslim students and Muslim faculty at USM whose presence adds to our diverse campus community.