FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – Wright State University is responding after a videotaped expression of religious freedom went viral online.
The video shows a man who is not enrolled at the university tearing up a Koran. As he screamed, “This is evil”, a growing crowd yelled back, “God is Love”. A Wright State spokesperson says the man is a student who travels to campuses across the country to demonstrate.
The incident happened on Tuesday, September 15. University President David Hopkins said in a statement released to WDTN Wednesday:
An individual not associated with our university ventured onto our campus and expressed himself in ways that many found disrespectful to various groups because of their religion, sexual orientation, gender, or status as a victim of sexual assault. His actions, in my opinion, were vile and disgusting. We all understand that public universities are places where a free exchange of ideas promotes the intellectual development of students and informs civic activity and policy beyond campus.”
This is the second incident on Wright State’s campus in recent months involving the issue of freedom of speech.
Photos of a protester standing on the American Flag back in April caused a similar uproar on campus. It prompted a rally after the photo surfaced including area veterans who were defending the flag.
Hopkins says the university wants to equip the campus community with information and skills to respond to highly sensitive incidents such as the Koran demonstration on campus.
He announced a series of programs with the theme The Year of the Active Bystander to address such issues.