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OSU Students Let Somalis Know They’re Welcome On Campus

Students want Somali community to know they aren't to blame

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The Ohio State Buckeyes — REUTERS
Nov 29, 2016 at 5:30 AM ET

Students at Ohio State University are reaching out to Somali students to let them know they’re not being blamed for yesterday’s attack on campus. Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an OSU student born in Somalia, rammed a car into a group of fellow students on Monday then attacked bystanders with a butcher knife before he was shot to death by a university police officer.

Somali students and the Somali Students’ Association at the Ohio State University condemned Artan’s actions while expressing worry about their own safety on campus.

But OSU students were quick to reassure Somalis they were still considered part of the student community, and that their presence on campus was appreciated. Two Somali students posted their concerns on the OSU subreddit.

Meanwhile dozens of people responded the Somali Students’ Association’s condemnation, offering support, solidarity, and gratitude for their statement.

According to the Somali Community Association of Ohio, there are at least 38,000 Somali immigrants and refugees living in the metropolitan area of Columbus, Ohio, where Ohio State University is located. Authorities are still investigating whether the attack was an act of terror, a possibility raised after it was discovered that  Artan posted a rant on his personal Facebook page shortly before the attack in which he referred to “lone wolf attacks” and cited al-Qaeda recruiter the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.