The American Library Association has highlighted a spate of racist incidents, including defacement of Korans and other books about Islam, that has come to its attention since Donald Trump won the US presidential election last month.
Libraries across the US have reported incidents of hate speech scrawled on their books as well as incidents of harassment inside their premises that have now been logged by the ALA.
The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom started tracking the incidents after it had received three reports within a couple of weeks. Prior to that it had only received notice of one instance in the year, according to The New York Times.
Evanston Public Library in Illinois discovered seven defaced books about Islam and the Koran when staff were gathering material for a public lecture entitled, “The [Koran]: Is It a ‘Good Book’?”
The cover of one book, “The Koran for Dummies,” was vandalized with the statement, “lies cover to cover,” a drawing of a swastika and a derogatory remark about the Prophet Mohammad.
Staff said the books were not damaged the week before when they were showing the collection to a member of the public.
A police report was filed and the Southern Poverty Law Center was also alerted to the incident for their database on hate crimes.
Reed College library in Oregon was also targeted with hateful graffiti and drawings of swastikas which were plastered across walls sending the message minorities were not welcome.
Toronto Public Library in Canada also revealed anti-Semitic graffiti was found on its property.
Earlier in November, just four days after the election a Muslim student at the University of New Mexico was harassed by a man in the library who tried to aggressively pull her hijab off of her.
ALA president Julie Todaro said the incidents “mirror the divisive rhetoric of this campaign season,” the Guardian reported.
Todaro previously issued a statement in the wake of the election, recognizing the division the result had caused and vowing to fight racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination in its libraries.
Source: Word News