Police are continuing to investigate an incident at the University of Texas at Dallas where two copies of the Muslim holy book were recently found inside a toilet bowl.
The Mercury, UT-Dallas' student newspaper, broke the news April 11 that two UT-Dallas students noticed the copies of the Quran in the men’s bathroom on March 28 and alerted authorities.
UT-Dallas Police Chief Larry Zacharias told The Texas Tribune on Thursday that investigators "don't have too many leads” but are conducting video reviews with help from university staff. He said his team may have narrowed the timeframe for the incident down to about a 30-minute period.
“It’s not something we want to blast out on campus because we don’t want people to go, ‘Oh, you’re a suspect in the Quran thing,’” Zacharias said.
Zacharias emphasized the diversity of the student body and said, “There's not much divisiveness on this campus at all.”
During the November elections, when tensions were high, he said he made a point to ask students on campus, particularly Muslim women, if they felt safe. The answer was always yes, he said.
Zacharias said he agrees with comments he’s heard from students, who he said view what happened as a “one-time, stupid incident.”
The president of UT-Dallas' Muslim Students Association condemned the incident in an interview with The Mercury.
“Given the current political climate and how Muslims are portrayed in the media, it makes certain individuals act in this hateful way,” said Mohammad Syed.
Syed told The Mercury that the UT-Dallas community has responded with support and appreciation.
- Earlier this session, representatives from the Texas Muslim community denounced "intolerance" shown by the state's lawmakers towards their religion.
- Two Texas mosques burned to the ground in January.
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Dallas has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors is available here.