Exhibit defaced at School of the Art Institute: Grad student's project addresses violence against Muslims

An exhibit at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago that addresses racial profiling and violence directed at Muslims in the post-9/11 era was defaced with large caricatures and a word highlighting the text “Kill all Arabs,” according to a statement Wednesday from a Muslim civil rights group.

The exhibit by Muslim graduate student Anida Yoeu Ali is part of a larger series of work at the school titled “”1700% Project,”” which uses art as a form of response to hate crimes, the statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations said.

Chicago police responded to the downtown school about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of the defacement, said Officer Dan O’Brien, a police spokesman. O’Brien said the defacement happened sometime between May 6 and Tuesday, when police were notified.

The incident was classified as criminal damage to property, but O’Brien could not say Wednesday afternoon whether it was being investigated as a hate crime.

No one was in custody as of Wednesday.

Ali was on National Public Radio’s “Worldview” last week discussing the “”1700% Project”” as part of the program’s series on Islamic reform and identity, according to the statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The school said in a statement: “We are saddened by this incident and we are empathetic to Anida’s situation. ‚ĶVandalism is never an appropriate response to a work of art.”