Graffiti is an eyesore in the Valley. But some human rights groups are calling the latest vandalism a hate crime.
The offensive graffiti can be seen from Las Vegas Boulevard near St. Rose Parkway. It says, “Bomb Islam.”
Signs and billboards are a common site along Las Vegas Boulevard.
They can be there to grab motorists’ attention.
But along one stretch of the boulevard is a message in bold letters. Someone spray-painted “Bomb Islam” on brick posts.
“I find it offensive. I really do,” said Yasser Moten, who is Muslim.
He works with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to educate others on Islam.
“Like all Muslims, we hold our religion to the utmost standard, and to see it insulted is very offensive. I’m deeply saddened that this would even happen in a city like Las Vegas,” Moten said.
The graffiti goes one step further, with profanity, and reads “Islam Sucks.”
“What these types of incidents show is a greater need … increasing need for dialogue and bridge-building,” Moten said.
He said this type of hate crime reinforces negative stereotypes and misconceptions.
“Most Muslims are against terrorism and are against violence. It’s very unfair to say all Muslims are like the bin Ladens of the world,” Moten said.
Nearly 18,000 Muslims call the Valley home.
There are five mosques in the Valley and a full-time Islamic school in Las Vegas.
Human rights advocates said this type of hateful graffiti doesn’t have a place in a diverse and tolerant city.
Moten said on a brighter note, it’s just graffiti and can always be covered up. He said he’s thankful no one was physically hurt.