AMS condemns hate e-mail

ITS looks into origins of anti-Islam message sent to several Qlink accounts

Information Technology Services is investigating an e-mail sent anonymously to several Qlink e-mail accounts, villifying Islam as a religion that encourages its followers to “hatred and violence.” The AMS has condemned the letter, which claimed that phrases from the Koran justify Islam’s inherent violence and called on members of all religions to “stand firm against islam [sic] and pray for these evil sinners’ enlightenment.”

Samaa Khan, Queen’s University Muslim Students’ Association (QUMSA) vice-president, said a student received the e-mail on Sept. 28 and forwarded it to QUMSA. The Association then forwarded the e-mail to the Human Rights Office and to Social Issues Commissioner Allison Williams. “From our point of view we think it’s something that is extremely hateful and disturbing,” Khan said. “These types of e-mails are not only inappropriate, they’re also unacceptable. “We felt that it’s the responsibility of the University to ensure that these types of e-mail, these types of hate-inviting material, aren’t circulated,” Khan said. “Those responsible should be traced and stopped and suitable courses of action should be taken.” Williams said the selection of the Qlink addresses that received the e-mail seems to be random. “I talked to one [student] for certain that had no idea how they got on the list at all,” she said. “If someone were to get this e-mail somehow, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ... affiliated with this stuff at all. There were just students who had no idea howthey got it.”

Andrew Hooper, manager of systems, operations & network planning with IT S, said IT S was able to trace the e-mail to the campus’ wireless network, but the e-mails had been forwarded to IT S too long after they were received for IT S to find records. “We know roughly the area of campus that we think it was sent from, but that’s all we can determine,” he said. “It was from the wireless network and the logs from that are not retained for more than one day.”

Hooper said he’s not sure how many students received the e-mail. Hooper said IT S is working on changing its system so that more information regarding who logs onto the wireless network is retained for a longer period of time. Even if IT S identified the computer that sent the e-mail, however, it might not necessarily lead them to the e-mail’s author. “It’s always possible that people will get virus infections on their computers that can be used by other people without the knowledge of the owner,” he said. “Even if we were to identify a computer, it may not be the person who owns the computer that is doing it.” Hooper declined to reveal where on campus IT S had tracked the e-mail to.

Khan said IT S told QUMSA they tracked the e-mail to the campus wireless network in Goodes Hall.
The AMS is asking anyone who receives this or similar e-mails to forward it as soon as possible to stopit@post.queensu.ca.

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