A fraternity house at George Washington University was vandalized over the weekend, including desecration of a Torah scroll, according to the university and Tau Kappa Epsilon.
“Our entire chapter is outraged and saddened by this blatant act of antisemitism and violence against our brothers,” the fraternity said in a statement Sunday evening.
Chapter President Chris Osborne told CNN by phone the house was broken into while members were away and the damage was discovered early Sunday morning. “There was laundry detergent dumped on religious texts, specifically a Jewish Torah,” he said.
“We believe it was an act of anti-Semitism,” Osborne told CNN. “There was a Christian Bible and a Jewish Torah in the room, and only the Jewish Torah was vandalized. I believe it was a hate crime.”
A statement from the president of George Washington University (GWU), which is located in Washington, DC, said campus police and the DC Metropolitan Police Department are investigating.
“I want to be clear: I condemn all such acts of antisemitism and all forms of hatred, discrimination, and bias in our community,” said President Thomas LeBlanc. “Any act of antisemitism is an attack on the entire GW community and cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”
CNN reached out to the DC Metropolitan Police Department Sunday night for information on its investigation.
Osborne said about a quarter of his TKE fraternity chapter is Jewish, roughly mirroring the Jewish population of GWU, according to a college guide from the Jewish student organization Hillel.
The fraternity asked the Washington, DC, chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to look into the incident.
“Very disturbed to learn about this hateful incident that took place overnight at the TKE fraternity house on GWU’s campus,” the ADL tweeted along with a photo of the damaged Torah, torn and covered in blue liquid. “We’ve spoken with students & reached out to campus PD. We expect a full & rapid investigation.”
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