Kansas fraternity expels 4 members for mocking Muslims

AP News
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Posted: Apr 29, 2015 7:20 PM

A fraternity at the University of Kansas has kicked out four members who admitted involvement in a video posted on social media that mocks Muslims.

Zeta Beta Tau chapter president Jason Finkelstein said Wednesday that the traditionally Jewish fraternity learned of the video April 10 and expelled the members the next day. He said it appears the clip was posted April 9 via the app Yeti.

In a written statement first released over the weekend to the Lawrence school's student newspaper, the University Daily Kansan, and released Wednesday to The Associated Press, the fraternity said it takes a "strong stance against bigotry and intolerance in all forms."

The student paper obtained the clip, which shows a man wrapped in a blanket with his face and head covered. He can be heard saying "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great" as others laugh.

The fraternity statement said the members admitted their involvement, leading the organization to invoke a "strict zero-tolerance policy" regarding racism, discrimination and prejudice.

"As an organization, we are ready and willing to take any further action necessary to ensure that those affected feel they are valued and appreciated in our community," the statement said. "The brothers of Zeta Beta Tau Epsilon Mu Chapter regret the actions that took place and hope that we can use this as a stepping stone to start a positive conversation that promotes diversity."

Laurence Bolotin, the executive director at the fraternity's headquarters in Indianapolis, said in an email that the organization supported the "swift actions" of the chapter to expel the members.

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, a university spokeswoman, said the matter was resolved because the chapter removed the students.