Hate speech prompts extra security at Wingate event

Hate speech prompts extra security at Wingate event

WINGATE, N.C. — There will be increased security Monday night at Wingate University after someone posted to Facebook hate speech directed toward a guest speaker.

The post was on the Muslim Student Association’s page and was aimed at Libyan journalist Noor Tagouri.

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“She's really popular in the Muslim-American community,” student Haneen Muhyeddin said.

Muhyeddin is the president of the university's Muslim Student Association and invited the speaker.

She advertised the lecture on social media.

A woman responded to a comment by insulting the Quran and said to the people attending, “Good luck living through it.”

“She's free to express how she feels,” Muhyeddin said.

“She's free to express how she feels,” Muhyeddin said.

Muhyeddin was not surprised by the comment.

“I didn't really think anything of it,” Muhyeddin said. “There were no direct threats toward us. It really was just hate speech, which is nothing new to us. I mean, we're really used to it.”

University officials looked into the post and found the Facebook user is not associated with the university.

University spokeswoman Kristen Yost said the school wants all people to feel welcome.

“We want them to feel like they're stepping into our home and that they are becoming part of our family. So, we want to make sure that they feel as safe and secure as possible," Yost said.

Muhyeddin had a message for anyone who resorts to hateful comments.

“I would encourage you to reach out to a Muslim,” Muhyeddin said. “I guarantee a Muslim is not that far from you, and if you would just take a minute to meet one, I think it would change your perspective.”

Wingate police will also be at Monday night’s event.

No charges were filed.